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Cold & Flu Advice

Vantage Chemist Cold & Flu advice

A cold is an infection caused by a virus affecting the upper part of the respiratory tract. It usually lasts two to three days and does not cause serious illness in healthy people. Treatments available can relieve symptoms but will not cure a cold. Antibiotics are NOT useful because colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, coughing, sneezing, mild fever, headache, mild earache, sore throat and red, watery eyes. Colds are not to be confused confused with influenza (flu), which is a much more serious condition, especially in the elderly and people with other health problems.

Many of the symptoms of flu are similar to those of a cold but there is usually a higher fever with influenza. There may also be chills, fatigue, aching muscles and joints with influenza, and some people have breathing difficulties.

If you often suffer from sneezing and a runny nose during spring or summer this may be a sign of hayfever, rather than a cold.

See a healthcare professional if:

  • You are feverish with a temperature above 39°C
  • There is difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • You cough up green or yellow mucus
  • There is severe earache or sinus pain
  • The cold lasts more than one week

Not all cold remedies will be suitable for everyone

Ask your pharmacist for advice:

  • If the person with the cold is a baby or a child
  • If you have high blood pressure, heart problems, stomach or indigestion problems, kidney problems, asthma, urinary retention, glaucoma, thyroid problems or diabetes
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you are elderly
  • If you are taking medicine for other conditions


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Vantage pharmacy is a UK online pharmacy registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. We hope you will find this website useful, but it’s not intended to replace professional medical advice. Any information given on this site may not necessarily be current or take your own individual health situation into account. Therefore you should make sure that you carefully read the information leaflet and label on any product you buy from us before use.

If you have, or suspect you may have a health problem you should consult your doctor. Vantage Pharmacy is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Vantage Pharmacy website.
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