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Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Hold onto Myths About What Causes Colds and How to Treat Them
Date:10/19/2010

an 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.  
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    SOURCE Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
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