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Consumers should treat cold and flu earlier

Jenny Decker RN's picture

When cold and flu symptoms begin to appear, most people will wait them out to see if they will go away. According to a new survey, these symptoms should be treated as soon as they show up. The national survey including 505 pharmacists showed that nine out of ten pharmacists believe that it is very important to treat early in order to shorten the length and severity of a cold or the flu. Pharmacists agree that consumers should treat cold and flu earlier.

The National Pharmacist O.T.C. (Observations on the Treatment of Colds), sponsored by Matrixx Initiatives Inc is a survey of pharmacists and what they recommend for consumers with the advent of the coming cold and flu season this year. The survey was conducted in September 2009 and pulled participants from a national sample of pharmacists. Surveyed pharmacists worked in independent and chain pharmacies across the country. According to the survey, only about 26% of consumers seek out medications to treat cold and flu symptoms right away.

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Dr. Fred Eckel, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy states, “Early preparedness is going to be more important this cold and flu season; however, even with the threat of stronger, more virulent infections, pharmacists note that patients oftentimes delay treatment allowing a virus to live longer.”

According to the survey sponsored by Matrixx Initiatives, the makers of Zicam, pharmacists are becoming more involved with patient care. This is due to the severity associated with this flu and cold season along with the current economy. Out of the pharmacists surveyed, 85% feel that there will be an increase in the amount of consumers seeking help with cold and flu symptoms. In addition, 85% agree that because of the economy, consumers may consult pharmacists before they consult their physicians.

The survey had three key findings. They include the 85% of pharmacists that agree the economy has increased the amount of questions pharmacists will be asked about cold and flu. There are also 81% of the survey participants who agree that more patients will be likely to purchase over –the-counter medications due to the economy versus filling physician ordered prescriptions. Finally, 81% of the pharmacists surveyed stated that they give 5 or more recommendations each day for OTC cold and flu products.

If you have any symptoms of a cold or flu, do not try to ride out the symptoms. Get something to help treat it right away. Matrixx Initiatives has several different Zicam products that can be taken within the first 24-48 hours. Pharmacists recommend treating early symptoms of cold or flu with oral zinc based remedies. Zicam products include formulations of zinc gluconate and zinc acetate which can reduce and shorten the symptoms of a cold. For more information about Zicam products, you can visit www.Zicam.com.