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Paracetamol doesn't help beat the common cold
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Many of us reach for the paracetamol or ibuprofen when we have a cold or sore throat-but neither of the remedies works

Many of us reach for the paracetamol or ibuprofen when we have a cold or sore throat-but neither of the remedies works. And inhaling steam doesn't do much either, other than increasing your risk of a mild scalding, new research has found.
Even adding the two remedies together doesn't speed recovery from respiratory tract infections, better known as colds and sore throats, say researchers at Southampton University.
They suspect that the over-the-counter drugs may even extend the length of a cold. This is because ibuprofen in particular is an anti-inflammatory, which may interfere with the body's own healing response to the infection.
The researchers analysed the results of 899 patients with a respiratory tract infection who were told to take either of the remedies, or both together, and some were also advised to have steam inhalations. Up to 70 per cent reported that the remedies hadn't worked, and 2 per cent said they had suffered mild scalding from the steam treatment.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2013; 347: f6041)


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