Division of
GMP Publications, Inc.

ohn Cuspilich
Send Comments to QA/RA Editor

Food and Drug Assistance - Resources for Industry and Consumers

 

 

 
 

Condition - Disease

Links & Resources

- Add an Forum -

Acne - see Skin Care

ADD and ADHD

AIDS/HIV

Allergies

Alzheimer's

Arthritis

Asthma

Autism

Back Pain

Birth Control

Cancer - Breast

Cancer - Prostate

Cholesterol

Common Cold  |  Flu

Crohn's & Colitis

Dental Health

Diabetes

Diet & Nutrition

Ear Disorders

Epilepsy

Erectile Dysfunction

Hair Loss

Headache | Migraine

Heartburn

Heart Attacks

Hepatitis

Hemorrhoids

Kidney

Lyme Disease

Men's Health

MRSA

Multiple Sclerosis

Osteoporosis

Parkinson's

SARS

SIDS

Skin Care

Sleep Disorders

Smoking

Snoring

Stress | Depression

Stroke

Vitamins

Weight Control

 
Common Cold

Clinical Trials  |  Add a link  |  Regulations  |  Discussion Board  |  Ask the Nurse | Last Update January 1st. 2009  |  About FDA.COM  | Media Kit

Sneezing, sore throat, a stuffy nose, coughing - everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In the course of a year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds.

You can get a cold by touching your eyes or nose after you touch surfaces with cold germs on them. You can also inhale the germs. Symptoms usually begin 2 or 3 days after infection and last 2 to 14 days. Washing your hands and staying away from people with colds will help you avoid colds.

There is no cure for the common cold. For relief, try

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking fluids
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Using cough drops or throat sprays - but not cough medicine for children under four
  • Taking over-the-counter pain or cold medicines - but not aspirin for children

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Overview

Sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose—everyone knows the first signs of a cold, probably the most common illness known. Although the common cold is usually mild, with symptoms lasting 1 to 2 weeks, it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work. People in the United States suffer 1 billion colds each year, according to some estimates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22 million school days are lost annually in the United States due to the common cold.

Children have about 6 to 10 colds a year. One important reason why colds are so common in children is because they are often in close contact with each other in daycare centers and schools. In families with children in school, the number of colds per child can be as high as 12 a year. Adults average about two to four colds a year, although the range varies widely. Women, especially those aged 20 to 30 years, have more colds than men, possibly because of their closer contact with children. On average, people older than 60 have fewer than one cold a year.

The cold season

In the United States, most colds occur during the fall and winter. Beginning in late August or early September, the rate of colds increases slowly for a few weeks and remains high until March or April, when it declines. The seasonal variation may relate to the opening of schools and to cold weather, which prompt people to spend more time indoors and increase the chances that viruses will spread to you from someone else.

Seasonal changes in relative humidity also may affect the prevalence of colds. The most common cold-causing viruses survive better when humidity is low—the colder months of the year. Cold weather also may make the inside lining of your nose drier and more vulnerable to viral infection.

Cause

The viruses
 

More than 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. Some, such as the rhinoviruses, seldom produce serious illnesses. Others, such as parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus, produce mild infections in adults but can lead to severe lower respiratory tract infections in young children.

Rhinoviruses (from the Greek rhin, meaning “nose”) cause an estimated 30 to 35 percent of all adult colds, and are most active in early fall, spring, and summer. Scientists have identified than 110 distinct rhinovirus types. These agents grow best at temperatures of about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside the human nose.

Scientists think coronaviruses cause a large percentage of all adult colds. They bring on colds primarily in the winter and early spring. Of the more than 30 kinds, three or four infect humans.

The importance of coronaviruses as a cause of colds is hard to assess because, unlike rhinoviruses, they are difficult to grow in the laboratory.

Approximately 10 to 15 percent of adult colds are caused by viruses also responsible for other, more severe illnesses: adenoviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, orthomyxoviruses (including influenza A and B viruses, which cause flu), paramyxoviruses (including several parainfluenza viruses), respiratory syncytial virus, and enteroviruses.

The causes of 30 to 50 percent of adult colds, presumed to be viral, remain unidentified. The same viruses that produce colds in adults appear to cause colds in children. The relative importance of various viruses in pediatric colds, however, is unclear because it’s difficult to isolate the precise cause of symptoms in research studies of children with colds.

The weather

There is no evidence that you can get a cold from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or overheated.

Other factors

There is also no evidence that your chances of getting a cold are related to factors such as exercise, diet, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. On the other hand, research suggests that psychological stress and allergic diseases affecting your nose or throat may have an impact on your chances of getting infected by cold viruses.

Transmission

You can get infected by cold viruses by either of these methods.

  • Touching your skin or environmental surfaces, such as telephones and stair rails, that have cold germs on them and then touching your eyes or nose
  • Inhaling drops of mucus full of cold germs from the air

Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and often include

  • Mucus buildup in your nose
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Swelling of your sinuses
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache

Fever is usually slight but can climb to 102 degrees Fahrenheit in infants and young children. Cold symptoms can last from 2 to 14 days, but like most people, you’ll probably recover in a week. If symptoms recur often or last much longer than 2 weeks, you might have an allergy rather than a cold.

Colds occasionally can lead to bacterial infections of your middle ear or sinuses, requiring treatment with antibiotics. High fever, significantly swollen glands, severe sinus pain, and a cough that produces mucus may indicate a complication or more serious illness requiring a visit to your healthcare provider.

Treatment

There is no cure for the common cold, but you can get relief from your cold symptoms by

  • Resting in bed
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Gargling with warm salt water or using throat sprays or lozenges for a scratchy or sore throat
  • Using petroleum jelly for a raw nose
  • Taking aspirin or acetaminophen—Tylenol, for example—for headache or fever

A word of caution: Several studies have linked aspirin use to the development of Reye’s syndrome in children recovering from flu or chickenpox. Reye’s syndrome is a rare but serious illness that usually occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 12 years. It can affect all organs of the body but most often the brain and liver. While most children who survive an episode of Reye’s syndrome do not suffer any lasting consequences, the illness can lead to permanent brain damage or death. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children and teenagers not be given aspirin or medicine containing aspirin when they have any viral illness such as the common cold.

Over-the-counter cold medicines

Nonprescription cold remedies, including decongestants and cough suppressants, may relieve some of your cold symptoms but will not prevent or even shorten the length of your cold. Moreover, because most of these medicines have some side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia, or upset stomach, you should take them with care.

Questions have been raised about the safety of nonprescription cold medicines in children and whether the benefits justify any potential risks from the use of these products in children, especially in those under 2 years of age. Recently, a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended that nonprescription cold medicines not be given to children under the age of 6, because cold medicines do not appear to be effective for these children and may not be safe.

Over-the counter-antihistamines

Nonprescription antihistamines may give you some relief from symptoms such as runny nose and watery eyes, which are symptoms commonly associated with colds.

Antibiotics

Never take antibiotics to treat a cold because antibiotics do not kill viruses. You should use these prescription medicines only if you have a rare bacterial complication, such as sinusitis or ear infection. In addition, you should not use antibiotics “just in case,” because they will not prevent bacterial infections.

Steam

Although inhaling steam may temporarily relieve symptoms of congestion, health experts have found that this approach is not an effective treatment.

Prevention

There are several ways you can keep yourself from getting a cold or passing one on to others.

  • Because cold germs on your hands can easily enter through your eyes and nose, keep your hands away from those areas of your body
  • If possible, avoid being close to people who have colds
  • If you have a cold, avoid being close to people
  • If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth, and sneeze or cough into your elbow rather than your hand.

Handwashing

Handwashing with soap and water is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to keep from getting colds or giving them to others. During cold season, you should wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same. When water isn’t available, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends using alcohol-based products made for disinfecting your hands.

Disinfecting

Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on your skin. They also can survive up to 3 hours on objects such as telephones and stair railings. Cleaning environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection.

Vaccine

Because so many different viruses can cause the common cold, the outlook for developing a vaccine that will prevent transmission of all of them is dim. Scientists, however, continue to search for a solution to this problem.

Unproven prevention methods

Echinacea

Echinacea is a dietary herbal supplement that some people use to treat their colds. Researchers, however, have found that while the herb may help treat your colds if taken in the early stages, it will not help prevent them.

One research study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, found that echinacea is not effective at all in treating children aged 2 to 11.

Vitamin C

Many people are convinced that taking large quantities of vitamin C will prevent colds or relieve symptoms. To test this theory, several large-scale, controlled studies involving children and adults have been conducted. To date, no conclusive data has shown that large doses of vitamin C prevent colds. The vitamin may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms, but there is no clear evidence of this effect.

Taking vitamin C over long periods of time in large amounts may be harmful. Too much vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea, a particular danger for elderly people and small children.

Honey

Honey has been considered to be a treatment for coughs and to soothe a sore throat. A recent study conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine compared the effectiveness of a little bit of buckwheat honey before bedtime versus either no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), the cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. The results of this study suggest that honey may be useful to relieve coughing, but researchers need to do additional studies.

You should never give honey to children under the age of one because of the risk of infantile botulism, a serious disease.

Zinc

Zinc lozenges and zinc lollipops are available over the counter as a treatment for the common cold; however, results from studies designed to test the efficacy of zinc are inconclusive. Although several studies have shown zinc to be effective for reducing the symptoms of the common cold, an equal number of studies have shown zinc is not effective. This may be due to flaws in the way these studies were conducted, or the particular form of zinc used in each case. Therefore, additional studies are needed.

Complications

Colds occasionally can lead to bacterial infections of your middle ear or sinuses, requiring treatment with antibiotics. High fever, significantly swollen glands, severe sinus pain, and a cough that produces mucus, may indicate a complication or more serious illness requiring a visit to your healthcare provider.

 

 

Reference Links - Add a link

Clinical Trials - Add a clinical trial

 top
1
Recruiting
Prospective Randomized Comparison of Cold Snare Polypectomy and Conventional Polypectomy
Condition:
Colorectal Cancer 
Interventions:
Procedure: cold polypectomy;   Procedure: conventional polypectomy 
 
 

 
2
Recruiting
Nasal Physiologic Reactivity of Nonallergic Rhinitis to Cold Air Provocation
Condition:
Vasomotor Rhinitis 
Intervention:
Procedure: cold air 
 
 

 
3
Recruiting
Echinacea Versus Placebo Effect in Common Cold (Physician Echinacea Placebo)
Condition:
Common Cold 
Interventions:
Dietary Supplement: Echinacea;   Other: Blinded placebo 
 
 

 
4
Recruiting
Therapy for Chronic Cold Agglutinin Disease
Condition:
Cold Agglutinin Disease 
Interventions:
Drug: Rituximab;   Drug: Fludarabine 
 
 

 
5
Recruiting
Warm Ischemia or Cold Ischemia During Surgery in Treating Patients With Stage I Kidney Cancer
Conditions:
Cancer-Related Problem/Condition;   Kidney Cancer 
Interventions:
Procedure: cold ischemia procedure;   Procedure: warm ischemia procedure 
 
 

 
6
Recruiting
 

 
7
Recruiting
Stopping Upper Respiratory Infections and Flu in the Family: The Stuffy Trial
Conditions:
Respiratory Tract Infections;   Common Cold 
Interventions:
Behavioral: Hand hygiene and educational material;   Device: Mask, alcohol and hand sanitizer 
 
 

 
8
Recruiting
Sour Taste and Cold Temperature in Dysphagia
Condition:
Stroke 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
9
Recruiting
The Natural History of Viral Upper Respiratory Infections in Children Aged 6 to <14 Years
Conditions:
Upper Respiratory Infection;   Common Cold 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
10
Recruiting
Metabolism and Thyroid Hormone Changes During Exposure to Cold Temperatures
Condition:
Obesity 
Intervention:
Procedure: Exposure to Cold Temperature 
 
 

 
11
Not yet recruiting
Improved Preoperative Selection of Cold Thyroid Nodules
Condition:
Thyroid Nodules 
Intervention:
Behavioral: No intervention. Applying gene profiling on needle aspirates 
 
 

 
12
Recruiting
 

 
13
Recruiting
Immersion Pulmonary Edema
Condition:
Immersion Pulmonary Edema 
Intervention:
Drug: Sildenafil 
 
 

 
14
Recruiting
 

 
15
Recruiting
Use of Cold and Compression Therapy With Total Knee Replacement Patients
Conditions:
Osteoarthritis;   Total Knee Arthroplasty 
Interventions:
Device: Game Ready Injury Treatment System (CoolSystems Inc.);   Other: Ice with compressive bandages 
 
 

 
16
Not yet recruiting
Comparison of Topical Antiviral Agents for Labial Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis)
Condition:
Reccurent Herpes Labialis 
Interventions:
Drug: Acyclovir 5%;   Drug: Docosanol 10%;   Device: Superlysine gel 
 
 

 
17
Recruiting
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effect of CVT-E002 in Patients With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
Condition:
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis 
Interventions:
Drug: COLD-fX;   Drug: Placebo 
 
 

 
18
Not yet recruiting
Changes in Heart Rate in Response to Cold Pressor Test
Condition:
Pain 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
19
Recruiting
Intermittent Cold Blood Vs Crystalloid Cardioplegia in Aortic Valve Surgery
Conditions:
Aortic Valve Disease;   Coronary Artery Disease 
Intervention:
Procedure: Myocardial protection techniques 
 
 

 
20
Recruiting
Zinc for the Treatment of Herpes Simplex Labialis (HSL)
Condition:
Herpes Simplex Labialis 
Interventions:
Drug: Zicam (Ionic zinc);   Drug: placebo 
 
 

 
21
Recruiting
Phase 3 Clinical Study for the Treatment of Cold Sore
Condition:
Herpes Labialis 
Interventions:
Drug: Acyclovir Lauriad;   Drug: Placebo 
 
 

 
22
Not yet recruiting
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Detecting Endothelial Dysfunction
Conditions:
Endothelial Dysfunction;   Myocardial Perfusion Abnormalities;   Cardiac MRI Perfusion With Vasomotor Stress;   Diabetes 
Intervention:
Procedure: Cardiac Perfusion MRI w Vasomotor Stress 
 
 

 
23
Recruiting
The Efficacy and Safety of Dexibuprofen Syrup
Conditions:
Fever;   Respiratory Tract Infection 
Interventions:
Drug: Dexibuprofen;   Drug: Dexibuprofen;   Drug: Ibuprofen 
 
 

 
24
Recruiting
Rapid Intravascular Cooling in Myocardial Infarction as Adjunctive to Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Condition:
Acute Anterior Myocardial Infarction 
Interventions:
Device: Endovascular cooling by the Celsius Control System;   Other: Standard of care 
 
 

 
25
Recruiting
Effects of Insufflated Gas on Core Temperature and Post-Operative Pain During Laparoscopic Surgery
Conditions:
Laparoscopy;   Pain, Postoperative;   Hypothermia 
Interventions:
Drug: ropivacaïne 0.75% (Naropeine);   Procedure: womb operation by laparoscopy;   Device: Aeroneb® Pro (Aerogen® Company) 
 
 

 
26
Recruiting
Respiratory Health of Elite Athletes
Conditions:
Asthma;   Cardiovascular Diseases;   Metabolic Diseases 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
 
28
Not yet recruiting
IHPOTOTAM : Induced HyPOthermia TO Treat Adult Meningitis
Condition:
Bacterial Meningitis 
Interventions:
Procedure: Mild induced hypothermia (32-34°C);   Procedure: local recommendations and guidelines 
 
 

 
29
Not yet recruiting
Air Cleaners for Children and Adolescents With Asthma and Dog Allergy
Conditions:
Asthma;   Allergy 
Intervention:
Device: Icleen IQAir Air cleaners 
 
 

 
30
Recruiting
Effect of Montelukast on Experimentally-Induced RV16 Infection in Asthma
Condition:
Asthma 
Interventions:
Drug: montelukast;   Drug: placebo 
 
 

 
31
Recruiting
A Rho-Kinase Inhibitor (Fasudil) in the Treatment of Raynaud's Phenomenon
Condition:
Raynaud's 
Intervention:
Drug: Fasudil 
 
 

 
32
Recruiting
Treatment of Acute Sinusitis
Conditions:
Acute Respiratory Infections;   Acute Rhinosinusitis 
Interventions:
Drug: Acetaminophen;   Drug: Amoxicillin;   Drug: Dextromethorphan hydrobromide (10mg/5ml) with guaifenesin (100mg/5ml);   Drug: Mucinex OTC (guaifenesin);   Drug: Pseudoephedrine Sustained Action;   Drug: Saline spray (0.65%) 
 
 

 
33
Recruiting
Specific Effects of Escitalopram on Neuroendocrine Response
Condition:
Healthy 
Interventions:
Drug: Citalopram;   Drug: Escitalopram;   Drug: Dexamethasone;   Behavioral: Cold Pressor Test 
 
 

 
34
Recruiting
Iodine I 131 Metaiodobenzylguanidine and a Stem Cell Transplant in Treating Young Patients With Relapsed or Refractory High-Risk Neuroblastoma
Condition:
Neuroblastoma 
Interventions:
Drug: cold contaminant-free iodine I 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine;   Drug: filgrastim;   Procedure: autologous bone marrow transplantation;   Procedure: autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation;   Procedure: quality-of-life assessment;   Procedure: radionuclide imaging 
 
 

 
35
Recruiting
Induction of Mild Hypothermia Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Condition:
Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest 
Intervention:
Procedure: Rapid infusion of 2 liters of 4oC normal saline 
 
 

 
36
Not yet recruiting
Study of the Use of Humidified Warmed Gas and the Effect on Post-Operative Pain in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomies
Condition:
Gallstone 
Interventions:
Other: Warm humidified C02;   Other: Cool dry C02 
 
 

 
37
Recruiting
Study of Pain Processing in Subjects Suffering From Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Condition:
Sleep Apnea, Obstructive 
Interventions:
Drug: Remifentanil;   Procedure: Ice water used to assess cold pain threshold and tolerance;   Device: TSAII Neuroanalyzer (Medoc Advanced Medical Systems, Durham, NC), Used to assess heat pain threshold and tolerance 
 
 

 
38
Recruiting
 

 
39
Recruiting
Safety of and Immune Response to a Human Parainfluenza Virus Vaccine (rHPIV3cp45) in Healthy Infants
Conditions:
Paramyxoviridae Infections;   Virus Diseases 
Interventions:
Biological: rHPIV3cp45;   Biological: Placebo 
 
 

 
40
Recruiting
Characterization of the Analgesic Effects of Oral THC and Smoked Marijuana in Non-Treatment Seeking Marijuana Smokers
Conditions:
Pain;   Mood 
Interventions:
Drug: Oral THC;   Drug: Marijuana 
 
 

 
41
Recruiting
Humidification in Laparoscopic Colonic Surgery
Condition:
Peritoneal Inflammation 
Interventions:
Procedure: Fisher and Paykel Humidifier;   Procedure: Standard insufflation 
 
 

 
42
Recruiting
Characterization of WAGR Syndrome and Other Chromosome 11 Gene Deletions
Conditions:
WAGR Syndrome;   Wilm's Tumor;   Aniridia;   Urogenital Abnormalities;   Mental Retardation 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
43
Recruiting
 

 
44
Recruiting
Effects of Pregabalin on Mechanical Hyperalgesia
Conditions:
Tactile Hyperalgesia;   Neuropathic Pain 
Intervention:
Drug: Pregabalin 
 
 

 
45
Recruiting
Association Between Cytokines and Severity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)-Induced Illness in the Elderly
Condition:
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections 
Intervention:
 
 
 

 
46
Recruiting
Effect of Vicks® VapoRub® , Petrolatum, and No Treatment on Nocturnal Cough
Condition:
Respiratory Tract Diseases 
Interventions:
Other: Vick VapoRub: Ointment containing camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol;   Other: Petroleum jelly 
 
 

 
47
Not yet recruiting
Bikram Yoga and Asthma
Condition:
Asthmatics 
Intervention:
Behavioral: Bikram Yoga 
 
 

 
48
Recruiting
Non-Invasive Cooling of Subcutaneous Fat
Condition:
Reduction of Unwanted Fat 
Intervention:
Device: Zeltiq Dermal Cooling Device 
 
 

 
49
Recruiting
Non-Invasive Cooling of Fat Cells
Condition:
Reduction of Unwanted Fat 
Intervention:
Device: Zeltiq Dermal Cooling Device 
 
 

 
50
Recruiting
Acetaminophen for Cancer Pain
Conditions:
Cancer;   Pain 
Intervention:
Drug: Acetaminophen 
 
 
Next (51-94)