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Flu Fight!

Dr. Susan Hamada is an internist with Sherman Physician Group in South Elgin. (Photo provided)

Doctors say over-the-counter cough and cold medicine should be used minimally.

“If it turns out that you’re coughing all night long and you can’t get proper rest, go ahead and take it so you can get some sleep. Your body needs sleep,” says Dr. Susan Hamada, an internist with Sherman Physician Group in South Elgin. “If you’re not that uncomfortable, don’t take it if you don’t need it.”

What works and what doesn’t Cold medication may temporarily reduce symptoms, Hamada says, but it does not accelerate the healing process.

A child younger than 6 should not be given cough or cold medicines because they can be dangerous and they lack proof of effectiveness, says Dr. Boguslaw Bonczak, a family practitioner at Algonquin Family Medicine, which serves Kane and McHenry counties.

Drink plenty of fluids, Bonczak says, and stay home for one or two days to rest and prevent spreading the virus.

He also suggests using acetaminophen or ibuprofen as a painkiller for those 6 months and older. Both doctors recommend saline nasal spray or drops for all ages. Saline relieves congestion and helps prevent secondary infections, Hamada says.

To read the full story, pick up the latest issue of Kane County Magazine.