ARI is not so harmless as many believe – they are dangerous due to their numerous complications, which can manifest themselves during many years. It is always necessary to treat a cold of a bacterial nature and the flu, and the sooner the course of therapy starts, the less is the risk of these complications. The generally accepted cold treatment scheme includes two types of medications – etiotropic, that are agents affecting the pathogen, and symptomatic, allowing to minimize manifestations of the disease
Combating a cold, the most important thing is to cope with a pathogen, that is a virus or a bacterium. It is possible to find out exactly what caused ARI, only with the help of laboratory research, and that is why it is so important to consult a doctor and not to prescribe medications on your own.
The effect of antiviral drugs is based on the interference into some specific stages of viral replication and its subsequent exit from the affected cell. So, these drugs reduce the intoxication of the body by inhibiting the spread of the virus. The earlier you start taking antiviral drugs, the more effective their effect might be. Normally, adamantane derivatives are prescribed (although, according to some studies, it shows low efficacy against the influenza strains), neuraminidase inhibitors, interferon preparations or immunomodulators. Inhibitors of neuraminidase are considered as the most effective.
Antiviral drugs based on interferon or substances that stimulate the production of its own interferon can be used both for the treatment of the disease and for the prevention of colds. Such drugs can be both synthetic and natural – the latter include extracts of plants such as ginseng, eleutherococcus, licorice. Most antiviral drugs are over-the-counter, however, before buying it is still worth consulting a doctor.
In case of a cold, the throat often becomes inflamed and anti-inflammatory drugs applied locally help to relieve discomfort. They are available in the form of lozenges, lozenges, resorption tablets, sprays, rinsing solutions. In addition to anti-inflammatory components, synthetic and natural, sage extract for instance, these products sometimes contain anesthetics and analgesics that dull the pain.
Vasodilating nasal drops can almost instantaneously remove the edema and facilitate breathing. However these preparations have a downside people get used to them very quickly. There is even a risk of medical rhinitis, when one can not breathe normally without vasoconstrictors. Therefore, it is not recommended to use them for more than 10 days. Only preparations based on sea water and other natural components are the exception.
When choosing a cough remedy, it is important to distinguish between a dry and wet cough, as the treatments for them are quite different. If the cough is dry and unproductive, you need things that depress the cough reflex. However if the cough is wet, they will only do harm – suppressing the cough reflex, they will lead to stagnation of fluid in the lungs, and this leads to a series of complications, even to pneumonia. In case of a moist cough, drugs that dilute sputum and facilitate its separation are needed.