Items in AFP with MESH term: Common Cold
Influenza in the Nursing Home - Article
ABSTRACT: Although influenza affects persons of all ages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified several groups who are at increased risk for complications. One such group is residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. During influenza epidemics, mortality rates among nursing home residents often exceed 5 percent. To lessen the impact of this infection, the influenza vaccine is recommended as the primary way of preventing the illness and its complications. Many studies have shown that vaccination of nursing home residents and staff can significantly decrease rates of hospitalization, pneumonia, and related mortality. When an influenza outbreak occurs in a nursing home, several measures can be implemented by the treating physician. Treatment and prophylaxis can be accomplished using antiviral medications such as amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir. The antiviral medication zanamivir can be used in the treatment of influenza, but not for prophylaxis. Once an outbreak has been established, control measures, including vaccination of unvaccinated residents and employees, and limitations on resident movement and visits, can be implemented.
Treatment of the Common Cold - Article
ABSTRACT: The common cold is a viral illness that affects persons of all ages, prompting frequent use of over-the-counter and prescription medications and alternative remedies. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms (e.g., cough, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea). Dextromethorphan may be beneficial in adults with cough, but its effectiveness has not been demonstrated in children and adolescents. Codeine has not been shown to effectively treat cough caused by the common cold. Although hydrocodone is widely used and has been shown to effectively treat cough caused by other conditions, the drug has not been studied in patients with colds. Topical (intranasal) and oral nasal decongestants have been shown to relieve nasal symptoms and can be used in adolescents and adults for up to three days. Antihistamines and combination antihistamine/decongestant therapies can modestly improve symptoms in adults; however, the benefits must be weighed against potential side effects. Newer nonsedating antihistamines are ineffective against cough. Topical ipratropium, a prescription anticholinergic, relieves nasal symptoms in older children and adults. Antibiotics have not been shown to improve symptoms or shorten illness duration. Complementary and alternative therapies (i.e., Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc) are not recommended for treating common cold symptoms; however, humidified air and fluid intake may be useful without adverse side effects. Vitamin C prophylaxis may modestly reduce the duration and severity of the common cold in the general population and may reduce the incidence of the illness in persons exposed to physical and environmental stresses.
A Tool For Evaluating Patients With Cold Symptoms - Improving Patient Care
Antihistamines for the Common Cold - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Five conditions--otitis media, acute sinusitis, cough, pharyngitis and the common cold--account for most of the outpatient use of antibiotics in the United States. The first part of this two-part article presents guidelines that encourage physicians to make an appropriate distinction between acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion, to use shorter courses of antibiotic therapy in uncomplicated cases of otitis media and to limit prophylaxis to recurrence as defined strictly by number of episodes. Sinusitis in younger children is difficult to distinguish from the common cold, and the criterion for use of antibiotics should be duration of symptoms.
ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the principles of judicious antimicrobial therapy for three of the five conditions--cough, pharyngitis, the common cold--that account for most of the outpatient use of these drugs in the United States. The principles governing the other two conditions, otitis media and acute sinusitis, were presented in the previous issue. This article summarizes evidence against the use of antibiotic treatment for illness with cough or bronchitis in children, unless the cough is prolonged. Although empiric treatment may be started in patients with pharyngitis when streptococcal infection is suspected, the authors recommend withholding antibiotic treatment until antigen testing or culture is positive. There is never any indication for antibiotic treatment of the common cold; it is important to understand the natural history of colds, because symptoms such as mucopurulent rhinitis or cough, even when they persist for up to two weeks, do not necessarily indicate bacterial infection.
Antibiotics for Viral Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Children - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
Common Cold - Clinical Evidence Handbook
ABSTRACT: The common cold, or upper respiratory tract infection, is one of the leading reasons for physician visits. Generally caused by viruses, the common cold is treated symptomatically. Antibiotics are not effective in children or adults. In children, there is a potential for harm and no benefits with over-the-counter cough and cold medications; therefore, they should not be used in children younger than four years. Other commonly used medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, oral prednisolone, and Echinacea, also are ineffective in children. Products that improve symptoms in children include vapor rub, zinc sulfate, Pelargonium sidoides (geranium) extract, and buckwheat honey. Prophylactic probiotics, zinc sulfate, nasal saline irrigation, and the herbal preparation Chizukit reduce the incidence of colds in children. For adults, antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, codeine, nasal saline irrigation, Echinacea angustifolia preparations, and steam inhalation are ineffective at relieving cold symptoms. Pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, inhaled ipratropium, and zinc (acetate or gluconate) modestly reduce the severity and duration of symptoms for adults. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal preparations, including Echinacea purpurea, improve symptoms in adults. Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms. Hand hygiene reduces the spread of viruses that cause cold illnesses. Prophylactic vitamin C modestly reduces cold symptom duration in adults and children.