Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Walgreens.

Aches and Fever

There are two kinds of medicines made to treat minor aches and pains from a cold:

Acetaminophen relieves headaches. It might also help open a stuffed nose. It’s in many cough and cold products as well as in other medicines. Read all the labels and be sure to follow the dosing instructions carefully so you don’t accidentally take too much.

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin are good for aches and pains. If you take a blood-thinning drug, check with your doctor before you take aspirin. And don't give aspirin to kids or teens. It can raise their risk for a rare but serious disease called Reye syndrome.

Sore Throat

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin can also ease the pain of a sore throat. Or you can suck on a lozenge or use a throat spray that contains a pain reliever such as benzocaine.

Multi-Symptom Cold Relievers

Some over-the-counter cold remedies combine medicines to help with a stuffed nose, cough, body aches, and other symptoms all at once. Before you buy a multi-symptom cold reliever, check that you have every symptom listed on the box. Otherwise, you might treat a symptom you don't have with medicine you don't need.

Do You Need More Advice?

Most people can buy OTC cold relievers on their own. But if you’re not sure what you need, ask your doctor or pharmacist for some guidance. It’s also a good idea to check with them if you have a medical condition such as glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or an irregular heart rhythm that prevents you from being able to take decongestants.

Tell your pharmacist about any prescription medicines you take. Some cold medicines can interact with prescription drugs.

Read the Label

Whenever you buy an OTC cold medicine, read the label carefully. Look at these things:

  • Ingredients: Check to see if it has medicines that are already in other drugs you take. For example, if you take a multi-symptom cold remedy and a headache medicine that both contain acetaminophen, you could be taking more than you should. That could damage your liver. You should also check the other ingredients, especially if you are allergic to colors or flavorings.
  • Uses: Learn what symptoms the medicine targets. Only take medicine that treats the symptoms you have.
  • Instructions: Find out how much of the medicine to take and how often you need to take it. Don't take more than the package recommends.
  • Warnings: See what side effects might happen and who should not use the product.


Find cold relief fast at Walgreens.