Cold and Flu

How can I get over a cold faster?

A Answers (2)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Everybody seems to have their own special remedy for curing a cold. The truth is, you can't really cure a cold; you can only speed its course.

    And there have only been three things that have been shown to really have an effect on speeding one up-chicken soup, zinc lozenges, and vitamin C (though we don't know why they work, research has shown that they do).

    You should consume any of the three at the moment you start feeling symptoms. Your options:
    • take 500 milligrams of vitamin C four times each day with plenty of water immediately at the start of cold symptoms and for the next two or three days, or
    • take one zinc lozenge every 6 hours, beginning at the start of cold symptoms and for the next two or three days, or
    • eat a cup of chicken soup four times a day at the onset of symptoms.
    Doing any of the above can reduce the average time that a cold lasts from roughly five days to three.

    Why did I leave out good old echinacea? Recent studies have found that it doesn't do a darn thing for colds.
    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    There’s no proven way to get over a cold faster. Some studies have found that sucking on zinc lozenges within 24 hours of the first symptoms of a cold may shorten it. Otherwise, do all you can to feel better as quickly as possible: Get plenty of rest, drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day and use a humidifier in your home to keep the mucus in your nose moist so that you can easily blow it and rid your body of the cold virus.
    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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