Read the labels of all over-the-counter medicines you take. Ask your pharmacist or health care provider if they are safe for you.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbal medicines.
Caution: Many stores have their own generic brands of the below medicines. Check with your pharmacist or health care provider before using any over-the-counter and generic medicines.
The safest cough and cold medicines for you are:
- chlorepheniramine (Chlortrimeton® or AllerChlor®)
- guaifenesin with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM®)
- loratadine (Claritin®).
Cough and cold medicines you should not take:
- pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®, Actifed®, Contrex® and Nyquil®)
Phenylpropanolamine has been banned. This ingredient was found in cold medicines. Please throw away any medicines that contain this ingredient.
- phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine®)
- ephedrine (also known as "ma huang") or any kind of appetite suppressant (such as Metabolife®).
Sodium causes your body to retain fluid. This increases your blood pressure and makes your heart work harder.
The following medicines are high in sodium:
- Vicks 44® Cough Syrup, Vicks 44® Cough Relief
- Fleets® Phospho-Soda and Fleets® enema.
The following medicines may cause you to retain sodium and fluid:
- ibuprofen (Nuprin®, Advil®, Motrin® and many brands)
- ketoprofen (Orudis KT®, Actron®)
- naproxen (Aleve®)
- glucocorticoids: prednisone (Deltasone®) and methylprednisolone (Medrol Dose Pak®)
- cox II inhibitors (Celebrex®).