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Compare the Ingredients

Rating Guide

Worst

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Best

Antihistamines
  • Effectiveness unclear, may help.  (WMD)
  • Little or no benefit for colds. Helpful for allergies.  (USP)
  • Antihistamines should be ineffective in treating colds.  (NCB)
Andrographis Paniculata
  • (Not covered in the sources.)
Decongestants
  • Reduce swelling, improve airflow short term.  (WMD)
  • Some short term relief.  (USP)
  • Won't prevent or shorten duration. Some symptom relief.  (May)
Echinacea
  • No effect.  (AIM)
  • Mixed results, experts say no effect on colds.  (WMD)
  • No evidence to support.  (USP)
  • Does not prevent or help treat colds, but helps with respiratory infections.  (NCC)
Nasal Decongestants
  • Short term relief. Should not use longer than 3 days.  (WMD)
  • Helpful to some, many side effects.  (USP)
  • If used more than a few days, may worsen symptoms.  (May)
 
Saline Nasal Spray / Irrigation
  • Short term relief. Can use as often as needed.  (WMD)
  • Often brings immediate, short term relief, no serious side effects.  (USP)
  • Combat stuffiness and congestion. Safe and nonirritating.  (May)
Vitamin C
  • No evidence for prevention, slightly helpful in treatment.  (WMD)
  • No evidence to support. Too much C is harmful.  (USP)
  • No evidence in normal conditions.  (May)
  • Helpful in extreme conditions and for elite athletes.  (May)
Zinc Acetate Lozenges
  • Possibly reduced duration in 1 study  (AIM)
  • No effect on prevention or duration.  (ODS)
Zinc Citrate
  • 1 article claims this worsens colds.  (AIM)
Zinc Gluconate Lozenges
  • Reduced duration in 1 study  (AIM)
  • No effect.  (WMD)
  • For any good effect, must be taken at first signs of cold.  (USP)
  • Two studies showed they significantly reduced duration in both school aged individuals and in adults over 60.  (NCB)
  • Reduces duration  (ODS)


Sources
AIM-Annals of Internal Medicine
May-Mayo Clinic
NCB-NCBI PubMed
NCC-NCCAM / NIH
ODS-ODS / NIH
USP-USPharmacist
WMD-WebMD




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