- An acute viral inflammation of the upper respiratory tract mucosa involving the nose, throat, sinuses, and larynx.
- Most of the population experience at least one episode per year; these are usually self-limited and resolve within a few days.
- Treatment is symptomatic: rest, fluids, analgesics/antipyretics, and prevention of spread are the recommended first-line treatments.
- There is no role for antibiotics in uncomplicated illness; evidence for vitamin C, echinacea, zinc preparations, and steam inhalation is also weak.
- The condition is occasionally complicated by bacterial infections such as otitis media, sinusitis, or pneumonia.
- Oral/intranasal decongestants and antihistamines have a role in reducing nasal congestion, although evidence is weak beyond the first dose.
Last updated: Apr 09, 2013