OTC Cold and Flu Medicines

1. What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

A. Colds are relatively minor nose and throat viral infections; a flu is a more serious respiratory viral infection
B. A cold is a bacterial infection, a flu is viral
C. Both a cold and the flu are caused by airborne bacteria that settle in the lungs; the flu is just a more severe version of the illness
D. None of the above

2. Which medication is most likely to cure a cold?

A. Antibiotics
B. A combination of decongestant and ibuprofen
C. Herbal remedies, including honey, echinacea, menthol and eucalyptus
D. None of the above

3. Who should avoid taking over-the-counter cold and flu medicines whose ingredients include pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

A. Someone with a cough
B. Someone with asthma
C. Someone on antibiotics
D. None of the above

4. You should speak with your doctor before taking decongestants for cold or flu symptoms if you have:

A. High blood pressure
B. Diabetes
C. Prostate problems
D. All of the above

5. What are antitussives and expectorants?

A. They both dry up mucus
B. Antitussives dry up nasal congestion and expectorants clear the lungs
C. Antitussives are cough suppressants and expectorants thin mucus
D. Antitussives prevent the sneeze reflex and expectorants alleviate a sore throat

6. What is pseudoephedrine and why is it sold behind the counter?

A. A pain reliever that can be addictive
B. A cousin of cocaine that can ease flu symptoms, but has been abused by people who have become addicted
C. A decongestant that can be used by criminals to synthesize the illegal drug methamphetamine
D. A cough suppressant that often is the target of shoplifters because of its high price

7. When might you need a prescription drug to treat the flu?

A. If you have a condition, such as asthma or lung disease, that puts you at high risk of developing complications from the flu
B. If you didn’t get vaccinated before the peak of flu season
C. Any flu sufferer with a fever of 102 F or higher
D. None of the above

8. How does chicken soup make someone with a cold feel better?

A. It doesn’t
B. It loosens congestion and prevents dehydration
C. It has tryptophan to help you relax
D. It is a natural cough suppressant

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