Cold and flu help

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Information & Advice


Cold and flu help

When you are suffering from a cold or flu, make yourself better with our handy tips on fighting off winter bugs (without going to see your doctor.)

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Cold and flu help

Over the winter months many of us face the possibility of coming down with a cold or flu. We're here to show you how you can help yourself without making a trip to the doctor

Common cold and flu symptoms

There are a number of cold and flu symptoms - here are some of the most common ones you should look out for:

Cold symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

Tip: When you are exposed to a cold virus, your symptoms will gradually develop and may last for around a week.

Flu symptoms:

  • High fever (above 38C)
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Aching muscles or joint pain
  • Diarrhoea or upset stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Cough, sneezing, running nose and sore throat; as in a cold

Tip: If you develop flu, your symptoms may come on suddenly and peak after a few days however full recovery may take up to two weeks.

Getting rid of your cold or flu

To be able to treat your cold or flu symptoms effectively, you need to give your body time to recover properly.

Rest Sleep
Make sure you get plenty of rest Try sleeping on a raised pillow if you have a blocked nose
Drink Avoid smoking
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids Try avoiding smoking and being around others who smoke

There are also plenty of cold and flu products available to help ease your symptoms. You can ask your local Boots pharmacist for advice on suitable medicines. Find your nearest Boots pharmacy.

Protect yourself and others against colds and flu

There are some simple things you can do to help protect yourself and others from catching a cold or flu.

Wash Dispose
Wash your hands regularly, especially after touching your nose or mouth Sneeze and cough into a tissue and dispose of it properly
Dry Clean
Use a paper towel or tissue when you are drying your hands instead of a shared towel Wipe and clean surfaces regularly

Tip: Getting a yearly flu jab can help protect you against winter flu. Find out more information on the Boots Winter Flu Jab service.

There are plenty of things you can do to help protect and look after yourself health this winter without a trip to the doctor, however, if you find that your cold and flu symptoms persist or become worse, then seek medical advice.

For further information on treating your cold or flu symptoms without going to your doctor, visit the Treat Yourself Better site or the BootsWebMD Cold and Flu Health Centre.

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  • Boots WebMD Macmillan