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Which decongestants work best?

What is the best kind of decongestant? What kind is most recommended by doctors? I have had a horrible head cold for nearly a week, and while I don't like to suppress the symptoms, I definitely need relief. Or is steaming a good option for me, instead?
A head cold can really put you down for a few days. The best type of physician to advise you on this type of problem is a primary care physician such as a family doctor. There are many over the counter decongestants available that can give you some relief from you symptoms. They work variably well in different patients so you may have to do a little experimenting. Phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine are popular ingredients in many of these medicines. They do work pretty well but are dangerous in patients that have a history of very high blood pressure or heart rhythm problems. Other agents that some patients report helping include camphor and eucalyptol, the topical agents found in Vicks vaporub. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician soon. He or she can take your history and perform a thorough physical exam. This is important to make sure that you do not have a more serious infection such as pneumonia. If you are determined to have a head cold, then you can ask your doctor how to treat your symptoms. This is the best approach because your doctor can give you the best mode of treatment with your past medical history in mind. Good luck, and I hope you feel better.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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