Pain killers and cold and flu meds.

I'm wondering what is safe to take for arthritis pain besides tylenol (which doesn't work) and what is safe to take for colds and flu if not decongestants.
I have cardiomyopathy and have had a CRT/D for 2 months.
What have you all been able to take for these conditions?

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I too was scared after my diagnosis on what to take for colds, flu and sinus infections.

I started out with a childrens triaminic for the colds. I also am trying Mucinex for Sinus/colds. As for the pain of arthritis I know how it hurts because my knees are bone on bone. Tylenol doesn't do too much and my orthopedic doctor prescribed Naproxen 500 mg 1 tablet two times day.

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For coughs and colds - I use a humidifier for a bad cough....and basically suffer. The only thing that would ever work for me was the good ol' sudafed --- the kind that you have to register for at the pharmacy. Its not good for your heart though, so basically I suffer.

I really try to avoid getting sick. Purell is everwhere -- car, desk, purse.... I also pop zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold. Most times it either staves it off or I have a much shorter cold. Wash your hands a lot keep and try keep them away from your face. Stay away from sick people.

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Coricidin has a line of cold and flu products for people with high blood pressure which my pharmacist told me was something most heart patients can take if their doctors' agree. I called the nurse at my cardio's office and was told they were okay for me so those are my go-to OTC products for cold and flu. You might want to check with your cardiologists' office and see what they recommend and ask about the Coricidin line - the products say HBP after the Coricindin on the label.

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While still in the hospital post-op the CABG, I came down with a nasty sinus infection and fluid behind my right ear (can we say vertigo?). My cardiologist placed me on Allegra, Flonase and simple Robitussin for coughs. I was told not to take any decongestants. Tylonel was prescribed for pain and fever. It took around two weeks but I think I've got it beat. The best treatments over all were my Neti pot and the Simply Saline nose spray.

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I have a so-so bad cold right now and all i can take is Tylenol for the sinus pressure pain and sore throat. I've had to suffer through it at night, which is when it gets worse. I've called my doctor and all they say is to avoid OTC cold medications for they are not good for me and if my cold gets so bad it's unbearable to give them a call back. otherwise, use humidifier, tylenol, vicks vaporub on my chest to keep somewhat decongested and let nature do it's thing.

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Thanks for your input.

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Thanks for all your replies. I am getting some of the things yu mentioned. What is a neti pot?

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Colds and flu are always a problem and with all the different meds we take, so many interactions can take place. I made it a point to check with my pharmacist when I needed any thing from a pain killer to cold medicine. He knows what you are taking and can tell you the best solution for you. Trust him to see you through the sniffles. Make sure you get your flu shot each year. I also had my Pneumonia shot. (Only one of those is needed). The other thing I do for prevention is to make sure family members gets theirs as well. Children and spouses bring these bugs home from school and work.

All the best on your journey and be blest. --- Gloria ---

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Generally antihistamines are safe for people. These are Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl, Chlor-trimeton, and the generic equivalents. Try to avoid the combos. I really get frustrated with the drug makers for making these million and one confusing combinations and putting not helpful names on them like "cough and cold", "congestion", etc. You have to read the package and see what the active ingredients are. Avoid the combos that include Tylenol (acetaminophen) because you probably have a nice bottle of that already and don't need to buy more. There is some evidence that the tylenol also reduces immune response to cold virus. I try to hold off on it unless the body aches are too uncomfortable. Remember that fever is actually your friend as it is helping kill invaders. Wait till it gets to 101 or so if you can, unless you have been instructed differently by your doc. Anyway, the point is, just about anyone can safely take an antihistamine and that will help with the runny nose, itching, sneezing, watery eyes. When I have a bad cold I switch to the old school ones like benadryl (diphenhydramine) or chlor-trimeton (chlorpheniramine maleate) because they are much more drying and sedating. Also anyone can generally safely take guaifenesin (sold in pill form as Mucinex or in syrups) which helps thin the secretions and helps you cough them up more effectively. Usually people should not have a problem with dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant often labeled as DM on packaging. So you can take medicine for colds, just avoid the decongestants (psuedoephedrine).

On the arthritis pain, discuss with your doctor. In my case we are avoiding NSAIDS (Advil (ibuprofen), naproxen (Aleve), etc). I take tylenol (rarely as doesn't help much), Norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), or use topical NSAIDS. The topicals work locally and little gets into the systemic circulation. I have prescription Pennsaid (diclofenac and DMSO) or use OTC like Aspercreme, Icy-Hot, BenGay, Salon-Pas patches. These work better than you would think. Just follow package directions and don't use excessive amounts. The ones with salicylates (all the ones I mentioned except Pennsaid) can cause a little extra bruising locally for those of us on antiplatelet medications.

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I remember my other used mustard plasters when I was a kid. I am going to try that. Thank you all for your helpful replies.

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