Dealing With a Cold

Holy crap, what a crummy week. Caught a cold, saw productivity go down a bit, but was able to pull through without missing any work thanks in part to reading Eric Rescorla's blog post about "Managing the Common Cold". The guy is an engineer / security guru but he happens to post frequently about statistics and health, and in this case he's really on to something as he goes much further than the classic advice: "Oh just take a Tylenol Cold and stop whining":

  • Nasal sprays and pseudoephedrine for congestion: He recommends Flonase, which requires a prescription, but I've had luck this week with an OTC decongestant spray once a day (mindful of widely-reported acclimatation effects) and Advil Cold & Sinus. I feel kind of stupid for buying Advil, as it's just ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine, but it was recommended by a colleague; next time I'll go generic.

  • diphenhydramine hydrochloride, an antihistamine with sedative effects to help fall asleep: costs practically nothing in generic form. Quite effective.

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