How To Treat A Common Cold - The GP Service
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How To Treat A Common Cold

Having a cold can make you feel run down and miserable. If you’re suffering from the common cold this winter, then we have put together a list of things you can try to get you back on your feet in no time.

The common cold is a viral infection in the nose and throat, they can be caused by many types of virus. Due to this, colds cannot be treated with antibiotics, but there are things you can do to help your symptoms. Most colds will clear up within a week or two, if your cold lasts longer than 3 weeks you should consult a doctor



  • Coughing
  • Blocked or a runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Raised temperature
  • Pressure in sinuses
  • Loss of taste
  • Congestion
  • Feeling run down



  • Rest

It is important to rest while you are ill so that your body can recover. Take it easy, call in sick to work and rearrange appointments, have a day in bed and sleep as much as you can.

  • Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will flush the cold out and make it easier to remove congestion. Try warm liquids like soups and tea to sooth a sore throat, stay away from sugary or fizzy drinks as they can irritate your throat further.

  • Get your vitamins

There is mixed evidence to suggest that getting extra vitamin c during a cold will shorten its duration, but getting extra vitamins will not hurt during this time so its still a good idea to snack on those oranges.

  • Relieve congestion and stuffy nose

Try not to swallow down phlegm and blow your nose as often as you can to clear the blockage. If you are still having difficulty, try sinus sprays or vapor rubs. To loosen stubborn congestion inhaling steam or using a humidifier should help.

  • Sore throat

Staying hydrated should ease a sore throat, but cough sweets and syrups are also good at easing discomfort.

  • Try OTC remedies

Pop into your local pharmacy for some over the counter medicines; decongestants, paracetamols and throat sweets should be on your shopping list. If you pick up ‘cold and flu’ tablets read the label as many contain paracetamol, do not exceed recommended doses.


All of these things can help you feel better while suffering from a cold, but there is no cure for the common cold, it is best to rest and recover. Speak to a doctor if you are concerned or if you have had symptoms for over 3 weeks. You can talk to a registered doctor within 30 minutes with The GP Service.

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