Our Medicinal Precautions for Seasonal Gatherings & Travelling

Large gatherings of friends and relations are part of what make Christmas and New Year special.

But along with the presents can come the unwanted gift of a cold.  That could ruin the first few weeks of new year training.

So these over the counter medicines are how we try to avoid the sniffles.  I'm sure my friend (a top pharmacist) will tell me where I'm going wrong [edit - he did - see below], but this seems to work for us.  We also use it when travelling on aircraft.

1.  Echinacea - the liquid seems more effective than the tablets, but the latter are easier to take when travelling.  I take two a day over the seasonal period.  Boots own brand fine.

2. First Defence - made by Vicks there's quite a lot of "does this stuff work?" online.  Vicks claim it's clinically proven.  You really must read the leaflet on how to take this because it's easy to sniff it too far up.  You'll see what I mean.  It can give a runny or even stinging nose - in fact it feels like a threatened cold is getting worse - but it improves.  At the first sign of a cold, this is what we turn to.  Boots' own brand doesn't seem quite so effective.

3.  ColdZyme - is a mouth spray which cost a truly staggering £16!  However, you don't use much (two puffs) and one bottle lasted two of us a year.  It can be used in conjunction with the First defence - so we do.

We use all three of these if a cold is threatening, or before we're going to be in the company of lots of people.  Neither of us work in offices any more, so I suspect we won't have the same 'herd' resistance to common bugs.

Of course having written this I'll now go down with a stinking cold... [edit - I knew I was tempting fate!  Within a week I had a chest cold]

My pharmacist expert friend read this and, in effect, diagnosed paranoia!  Although he also pointed out that such paranoia is probably the sign of a committed triathlete.  His medical contribution was this: "Echinacae def works, but best thing is hand washing!"

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