Sponsored by Schering-Plough, makers of Claritin-D®
cold or allergy?
IT CAN BE DIFFICULT to tell what’s causing your runny, stuffy, itchy nose
or your coughing, fatigue and headache—especially when cold viruses and
allergens may be hitting hard. After all, allergy and cold symptoms are similar, but there are clear signs that can help you get to the bottom of your
symptoms—and on the road to relief.
A good clue might be the timing of your symptoms. If those cold-like
symptoms occur all at once, you’re most likely experiencing allergies. But
if the symptoms appear one at a time (first sneezing, then runny nose), it’s
probably a cold.
For more ways to distinguish between cold and allergy symptoms,
check out the chart below.
at your pharmacy
Allergy or cold?
Symptoms occur all at once or within a few hours
Symptoms may occur one at a time
(first sneezing, then runny nose)
Generally clear, thin, watery mucus discharge
Runny, stuffy or itchy nose
More likely to have yellowish mucus discharge
More common in the spring or fall
More common in the winter,
except in the southeast United States
Symptoms generally clear up within 7 to 10 days
Symptoms last more than 8 to 10 days
Whether you’re suffering from
allergies or a cold, you want to breathe
freely again. Try taking a product with
pseudoephedrine (PSE) to help relieve
nasal congestion. PSE is found in
Claritin-D and some other cold and
allergy products. It works by shrinking
the blood vessels and allowing the
sinuses to drain.
How can you ensure that you’re
taking a product with PSE? Check
the ingredients list on the package
before purchasing and look for
Recent federal legislation requires
products containing PSE to be sold to
consumers from behind a pharmacy or
service counter. In compliance with this
law, Costco sells cold and allergy products containing PSE, such as Claritin-D,
at the Costco Pharmacy counter (not
available at all locations). No prescription is required to purchase these
products except in Oregon.