Stocking up on supplies to get you through cold and flu season? Here are the top 10 items to buy:
Pain and fever reliever
On the label, look for acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or acetylsalicylic acid (do not give acetylsalicylic acid, also called ASA or Aspirin®, to children 18 and under).
Congestion or sinus pain reliever
On the label, look for pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylephrine (for tablets and liquid) or phenylephrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline, or xylometazoline (for nasal sprays).
Chest congestion reliever/mucus control
On the label, look for guaifenesin.
Relief for runny nose, sneezing or itchy watery eyes
On the label, look for diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, brompheniramine, dexbrompheniramine, diphenylpyraline, doxylamine, or pheniramine.
Dry cough reliever
On the label, look for dextromethorphan or codeine.
Sore throat relievers (lozenges or sprays)
On the label, look for cetylpyridinium chloride, dequalinium chloride, domiphen bromide, benzocaine, phenol, hexylresorcinol, or menthol.
Heating pad (for muscle aches)
And remember these savvy shopping tips:
Choose the right cold and flu products: Don’t overmedicate! Choose products that treat only the symptoms you have, and none that you don’t.
Select the right hand sanitizer: Choose a product with at least 60% alcohol. To get the most out of the product:
- Clean all surfaces of your hands, including the backs of your hands, fingertips, and between fingers.
- Keep rubbing until the hand sanitizer is dry.
Keep tissues handy:
- Buy 2 sizes: large boxes to keep at home (have one in every room that you use often), and travel-size packs to take with you (keep one in your pocket, bag, or purse).
- Buy plenty – you’ll need to throw tissues away right after you use them.
Find the right thermometer: Ask your pharmacist to help you choose an appropriate thermometer. There are 3 ways to measure temperature:
- Under the armpit is best for infants and children up to 2 years old.
- In the ear is best for children 2 to 5 years old.
- By mouth is best for children older than 5 and adults.
Bring this list to your pharmacy to get prepared for cold and flu season!