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Antihistamines can also help if you have a cold. Just don't overdo it. They dry up mucus, but "sometimes it dries it up so much that it can't drain, which causes more misery," Kemmerly says. There are different types of antihistamines, and your pharmacist can help you decide what type to try.

If you ask your doctor, let them know what you've already taken.

What about prescription steroid nasal sprays? Those are for seasonal allergies, not a common cold.

Kemmerly prefers to let the body heal itself whenever possible.

“The body is designed to do this,” she says. “In mild cases, the best advice we like to give our patients is do nothing except drink plenty of water. Available treatments may make you feel better, but they don’t alter the course of your illness.”

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