Profitt Report: Which cold, flu over-the-counter products are worth your money?

Photo credit: MGN

Stuffy noses, sore throats, fevers: welcome to cold and flu season! Health officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu is already widespread across most of the country.

On average, we spend nearly $340 every year on various over-the-counter products according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. With so many options, we checked with a Hurley Medical Center doctor for tips on where to spend our cash.

“Peak flu season is actually February,” said Dr. James Weber. However, he’s seeing a number of flu patients now and we’re not even half way through January. Before you head down the pharmacy isle, here’s where doctor weber says you should start: your fever.

“I think the most effective way to spend your money when we're talking about the flu is to first and foremost focus on fever reduction,” Weber said.

He said fever is linked with dehydration, something to avoid, especially while you’re sick.

“When you develop a fever, you have evaporative loss of fluids through the skin and it's the easiest way to get dehydrated and it's particularly problematic in the young and in the old,” Weber said.

He said Tylenol and Motrin will help battle your high temperature.

“Making sure you're taking them in maximum appropriate doses and even alternating them every four hours so Tylenol following by Mortrin followed by Tylenol,” Weber said.

Though, he said no aspirin for kids. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help keep your hydrated, but if you’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, Weber said you might need a little more than water, such as Gatorade or Pedialyte.

For majority of healthy people, the flu is a nuisance said Weber, but certain people shouldn’t rely on over-the-counter meds alone. The CDC said that includes young children, people age 65 and older and pregnant women.

“The COPD patients that are greater than 65-years-of-age or our pediatrics population, obviously we want to take a look at those individuals and make sure it's safe to be managed at home,” Weber said.

One of the best ways to prevent yourself or others getting sick is free: wash your hands! Weber said people often forget to wipe down their smart phones and devices, which can be big germ carriers.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off