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FDA says decongestant in over-the-counter cold medicines doesn't work. Should you toss 'em?

Little sick girl is cleaning her nose with a white handkerchief in front of a gray blank wall.

Check your medicine cabinets.

An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration agreed unanimously last month that an ingredient found in many over-the-counter cold medicines doesn't work to clear nasal congestion.

But does that mean the drugs belong in the trash? Or do they have other ingredients that ease cold symptoms?

On Cincinnati Edition, we'll address those questions and get advice on what other remedies to use instead.


  • Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, UC Health physician, director of the Division of Rhinology, Allergy and Anterior Skull Base Surgery, University of Cincinnati
  • Michael Hegener, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is a financial supporter of Cincinnati Public Radio.

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