The Best Over-the-Counter Cold and Flu Medicine

Every year, the common cold and the flu arrive – and they infect just about everyone. These illnesses can strike any time, but they tend to be most common during the colder months and seasons. With symptoms ranging from stuffy noses to coughs to fevers to nausea, a cold or a bout of the flu can leave you feeling unwell in many ways.

But there is good news. The common cold and the flu, along with their symptoms, can often be managed with over-the-counter medications. That means you can head to your local pharmacy or shop online for medicine that may be able to alleviate some of the worst parts of being sick.

If you’re trying to fight a cold or the flu, here are some of the best over-the-counter medicines that can help.

NyQuil and DayQuil Severe Sinus Pressure and Pain Non-Drowsy LiquiCaps

Price: $16.94

Fighting a cold or the flu can require you to take medicine all day and all night long. That’s where an over-the-counter medicine that offers dual benefits can help. NyQuil and DayQuil Severe Sinus Pressure and Pain offers medication for any hour, any time. This combination pack of medicine can relieve both cold and flu symptoms, including coughs, sore throats, fevers, and congestion.

The DayQuil medicine included in this double pack is non-drowsy, and the NyQuil can help you get the rest your body needs. It’s the ideal combination for fighting the effects of a cold or the flu 24 hours a day.

Vicks Sinex Severe Original Ultra Fine Mist Nasal Spray Decongestant

Price: $11.79

Vicks Sinex Severe Original Nasal Spray can help relieve one of the most frustrating symptoms of a cold or the flu: a stuffy nose. This medication, which you can spray directly into your nose, works to relieve both nasal congestion and sinus congestion. It’s effective for the common cold, hay fever, and even some upper respiratory allergies. And this nasal spray works quickly to provide you with relief.

This over-the-counter option is effective because it shrinks swollen nasal membranes. That allows you to breathe more easily, and it may even relieve the pressure that comes with congestion.

Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Relief

Price: $10.49

If you don’t like taking pills, give Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Relief the next time you’re sick. This over-the-counter medication is actually a powder that’s designed to dissolve in hot water, creating a warm and soothing drink to sip. As you drink this Theraflu blend, you’ll be ingesting ingredients that can fight symptoms of both the common cold and the flu, including sore throats, headaches, body aches, and congestion.

If you need more relief, Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Relief is also available in multi-packs with both morning and evening relief. The day blend is non-drowsy, and the night blend packs enough of a medicinal punch to help you sleep soundly.

GoodSense Nighttime Cold and Flu Relief

Price: $6.23

GoodSense Nighttime Cold and Flu Relief is a traditional over-the-counter liquid medicine that can work against the worst symptoms of the cold or flu. It’s a cherry-flavored liquid that contains acetaminophen, which can relieve fevers and body aches; a cough suppressant, which will reduce your cough; and an antihistamine, which can fight a runny nose. Even more importantly, this medicine can tackle symptoms both during the day and night.

In addition to combining multiple ingredients for effective relief for multiple symptoms, this liquid medication is maximum strength. That means it’s perfect for taking right before bed when you need a good night’s sleep.

Sudafed PE

Price: $6.49

Sudafed is a common medication used for fighting off a cold – but it isn’t available over-the-counter. You have to visit your pharmacy counter in order to get this medication. Fortunately, Sudafed PE offers the same benefits of Sudafed, but you’ll find it on the shelves of any store.

Sudafed PE is a decongestant, which means it works to ease pressure in your nose and head while clearing your nasal passages. It can provide short-term relief by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose, which helps you breathe more easily. And this medicine can even tackle other congestion issues, whether they’re caused by a cold, the flu, hay fever, or upper respiratory allergies.

CVS Health Multi-Symptom Nighttime Cold/Flu Relief Softgels

Price: $9.29

Over-the-counter medications can be excellent choices for the cold and flu – but you can take it one step further and save even more money by opting for a store brand medicine like CVS Health Multi-Symptom Nighttime Cold/Flu Relief. This budget option, available only at CVS stores and online, is affordable and effective. It’s formulated to help you sleep despite your cold and flu symptoms.

And this CVS medicine is powerful. It offers relief from cold and flu symptoms while helping you both fall and stay asleep. It’s similar to more expensive medications, features effective ingredients like acetaminophen and doxylamine succinate, and won’t break the bank.

Find the Right Over-the-Counter Medicine for Your Illness

The over-the-counter medications mentioned here are some of the best options available for combating the common cold and the flu. Many of these medicines can help alleviate symptoms of both, depending on what you’re experiencing.

The next time you’re hit with the common cold or the flu, consider taking over-the-counter medicine to help your symptoms. Make sure to talk with your doctor, as medications can affect each person differently. And if your health isn’t improving, it’s a good idea to see your doctor – you may need a different approach to cure your cold or flu.

But in a pinch, over-the-counter medications can do the trick. If you’re looking for options that can effectively relieve a sore throat, sinus problems, and coughs or mucus, an over-the-counter solution might be a great option. You can find these medications online, at grocery stores, and at local pharmacies.

Elvira Koneva / Shutterstock

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
Mar 25, 2020
Amazon logo and Amazon Prime logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates