Popular cold medicines show low effectiveness. These are the conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These surprising conclusions were announced after a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Non-Prescription Medicines. The agency convened it to analyze the effects of products used to relieve symptoms of colds, flu and allergies. It is mainly about one type of preparations.
Cold medicines containing phenylephrine are ineffective, but are they safe?
The Committee concluded that current scientific data do not support the effectiveness of oral cold medicines containing phenylephrine. These remedies do not help in the fight against this unpleasant ailment. However, there is no doubt about their safety. The indicated preparations do not have a negative impact on health if used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Moreover, the presence of phenylephrine in the medicinal product does not reduce the effectiveness of other active substances contained in a given pharmaceutical product.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet made a decision on the further fate of the described cold medicines. It is not known whether they will be withdrawn from the domestic market. It is worth emphasizing that the advisory committee’s conclusions apply only to medications taken orally, and not to all medications containing phenylephrine (nasal sprays, eye drops, and painkillers and antipyretics are also on the market).
Phenylephrine in cold medicines – what is this compound?
Phenylephrine is an organic compound that stimulates adrenaline receptors. It causes blood vessels to contract, increases blood pressure and slightly slows down the heart rate. It is a popular ingredient not only of cold medicines, but also of ophthalmological preparations used to dilate pupils. The doctor performs this type of procedure, among others, when he wants to examine the inside of the eyeball, the retina or the optic nerve. It is worth noting that phenylephrine is very popular not only on the American but also on the Polish pharmaceutical market.
What to use instead of medicines for a runny nose, or home remedies for rhinitis
A good way to get rid of a runny nose is inhalation with pine or eucalyptus oil. They have a bactericidal effect and help get rid of microorganisms. Herbal inhalations – thyme or marjoram – will also help clear the nose. The smell of garlic has similar properties. Remember to drink at least two liters of water a day when you have a cold or flu.