Navigation Links
Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Hold onto Myths About What Causes Colds and How to Treat Them

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey of U.S. adults has found the majority of Americans are misinformed about what causes the common cold, and how and when they should treat it.  Much of this confusion comes from myths Americans grew up with that have stuck with them throughout their adult lives.  Nearly three-quarters of consumers (72 percent) believe there is not much they can do about a cold except mask the symptoms and wait it out.  In fact, one-third of cold sufferers admit they wait until they feel miserable before taking medications that can help.

According to a second survey of U.S. pharmacists, this consumer belief is in direct contrast to what the majority of U.S. pharmacists believe – 93 percent of pharmacists report that early treatment of a cold can actually prevent a trip to the doctor's office, and 84 percent of pharmacists believe consumers often make poor choices about the best treatments for their colds.

The surveys, which were commissioned by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., makers of Zicam, also found that most consumers harbor myths about what causes a cold and what remedies are effective.  While 86 percent of consumer survey respondents understand that colds are caused by viruses, 65 percent of consumer survey respondents also incorrectly believe that bacteria can cause a cold, and 53 percent of consumer survey respondents mistakenly believe you can treat a cold with antibiotics.  Consumers also tend to rely on a variety of home remedies, including chicken soup, orange juice and vitamins, even though nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumer survey respondents acknowledge that some of what they learned from their mothers about catching and treating colds is untrue and not based on science.

The top five myths about colds that pharmacists say are most difficult to debunk are:

  • Antibiotics can kill the germs that cause colds
  • Changes in the weather can cause colds
  • Getting wet and chilled can cause colds
  • Sitting in a draft can cause colds
  • Avoiding changes in temperatures will help prevent colds

  • As consumers prepare for cold season to hit, pharmacists say they see a need to better educate consumers and combat cold-care myths.  Ninety-two percent of pharmacists believe patients harbor misconceptions about colds and how to best treat and manage them, and 97 percent of pharmacists feel consumers should seek their recommendations about cold treatments and management more often.

    "Consumer misperceptions about how they catch a cold – and how and when they should treat a cold – are the most prevalent barriers to optimal treatment," says Dr. Fred Eckel, professor of pharmacy practice and experiential education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy.  "As cold season approaches, it's important for consumers to understand the benefits of early intervention against a cold, and to focus on effective ways to shorten its duration.  The results of this survey mirror what pharmacists see every day - our patients still believe many of the myths they grew up with and they need better information on how to treat their colds."

    In addition to revealing consumer confusion about how and when to treat the common cold, the surveys also brought to light a discrepancy between consumers and pharmacists about when to prepare for a cold.  Ninety-one percent of pharmacists feel the appropriate time to assess and purchase over-the-counter medications is prior to becoming sick or at the first sign of symptoms, but only one in four (24 percent) consumers report having OTC cold and flu medications on hand for when they become sick.

    According to the survey, most pharmacists typically recommend zinc, an active ingredient in Zicam, as an effective way to reduce the duration of a cold, but consumers have yet to catch up.  More than half (52 percent) of pharmacists typically recommend taking zinc products in the early stages of a cold, with only 12 percent of consumers proactively doing so.  In fact, the surveys show consumers are three times as likely to try chicken soup (41 percent) as a means of stopping the progression of a cold as they are to try zinc (12 percent).

    "The surveys point to a clear need for pharmacists and doctors to educate consumers on early intervention, and help them identify the best remedies to treat the common cold early and help them get over it faster," says Dr. Eckel.  "Zinc-based products such as Zicam do more than just relieve symptoms - they are effective at actually shortening the duration of a cold."

    As pharmacists continue to play a more prominent role in consumer care, 98 percent of pharmacists agree they should be more involved in educating consumers about appropriate cold treatments, and 83 percent of pharmacists believe they should be a primary resource of information about colds and flu.  Most consumers agree, with 89 percent of consumer survey respondents saying they feel comfortable asking pharmacists about OTC medicines and cold remedies.

    About the SurveysThe consumer survey was based on a nationally representative sample of 500 U.S. adults.  Respondents were carefully sampled and recruited to represent the full U.S. adult population in terms of gender, age and region according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Data was collected between August 17 and August 22, 2010.

    The pharmacist survey was based on responses from a sample of 500 licensed pharmacists from independent, chain and large retail (supermarket) pharmacies.  The sample was drawn from a full list of more than 60,000 pharmacies in the United States.  Only one pharmacist per pharmacy was allowed to participate.  Data was collected between August 12 and August 25, 2010.  

    The margin of sampling error for a purely random sample of 500 survey respondents is +/- 4 percentage points. Survey design, data collection and analysis were done by Versta Research and sponsored by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.

    About Zicam Cold RemedyMost cold medicines are designed to mask cold symptoms; however, Zicam Cold Remedy is different. When taken at the first sign of a cold (within the first 24-48 hours), Zicam Cold Remedy products, which use propriety formulations of zinc gluconate and zinc acetate as the active ingredients, reduce the duration of a cold when used as directed. Two new Cold Remedy Plus items, Zicam Cold Remedy Plus RapidMelts® and Zicam Cold Remedy Plus Oral Mist™, which are specially formulated to deliver the product benefits of reducing the duration of a cold while also helping to provide symptom relief, are also available on retailer shelves this cold season.

    About Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. is engaged in the development and marketing of over-the-counter health care products that utilize innovative drug delivery systems. Zicam, LLC, its wholly owned subsidiary, manufactures and markets a full line of Zicam brand pharmaceuticals, including two new products, Zicam Cold Remedy Plus RapidMelts® and Zicam Cold Remedy Plus Oral Mist™, as well as our existing products including Zicam Cold Remedy Plus Liqui-Loz™, Zicam Cold Remedy Zavors™, Zicam Cold Remedy Chewables, Zicam Cold Remedy Oral Mist™, Zicam Cold Remedy RapidMelts®, Zicam Allergy Relief™, Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief™, Zicam Sinus Relief™, as well as Zicam Cough products and Zicam Multi-Symptom relief items. For more information regarding Matrixx products, please visit Ingram

    Sarah SandersGolinHarris


    SOURCE Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
    Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

    Related medicine technology :

    1. New Survey Highlights Immediate Need for Anesthesia Information Management Systems
    2. For the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Surveyed European Rheumatologists Expect Well-Established TNF-Alpha Inhibitors to Lose Considerable Patient Share to Newer Agents in This Drug Class
    3. PharmaNet Development Group Announces Observational Research Survey
    4. Voices of UC Survey Shows Need for Patients with Ulcerative Colitis to Speak Up about Debilitating Digestive Disease
    5. Although NeurogesX/Astellass Qutenza is Only Approved for Postherpetic Neuralgia, Surveyed U.S. Physicians are Likely to Prescribe It for All Neuropathic Pain Types
    6. Reprints Desk Survey Highlights Medical Marketers Key Challenges for Adopting and Using Clinical Reprints in Electronic Format
    7. UPDATED: Elsevier Online Opinion Survey Reveals Researchers Ready to Push Scientific Search and Discovery to the Next Level
    8. Surveyed European Oncologists Assign Greater Patient Share to Johnson & Johnsons Abiraterone Compared With Other Emerging Therapies in Asymptomatic or Minimally Symptomatic Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer
    9. For Multiple Myeloma Treatment, More Surveyed European Clinicians Consider the Combination of Immunomodulatory Agents and Proteasome Inhibitors Promising With Respect to Efficacy Than Any Other Drug Regimen Combinations
    10. New Global Survey Reveals Over One in Three Patients Fail to Take Insulin as Prescribed
    11. Reportlinker Adds Canadian Dental Market Overview & Dentist Survey 2010 (Implants, Prosthetics, Imaging & CAD/CAM)
    Post Your Comments:
    (Date:10/2/2017)... Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound ... in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug ... for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage ... set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people ... Learn more at ...
    (Date:9/27/2017)... Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global digital ... its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. Oz Show ... Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show kicked off ... The segment features ...
    (Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest ... Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey ... notes that the medical device industry is in an ... device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device ... they also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital ...
    Breaking Medicine Technology:
    (Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the ... medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring ... transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi ...
    (Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. ...
    (Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best ... in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 ...
    (Date:10/12/2017)... BALTIMORE (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... average of $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, ... higher. , By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, ...
    (Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the University of California Berkeley, and other leading institutions in announcing the launch ... of institutions to change the way animals are raised for food. , Founding ...
    Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):