My dad with dementia has a cold. What should I give as far as meds?

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He is loopy and can't process any direction when he gets sick don't want him to have antibiotics.

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Colds are a viral infection so giving antibiotics will not prevent a bacterial infection should that occur. If you can't afford a Dr visit you can call and talk to his nurse requesting instructions. many hospitals have nurse help lines ready to give advice
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No matter what you do--or don't do--there is risk. If you don't give them antibiotics a cold can easily turn into pneumonia. If you do give them antibiotics for the first signs of cold that can cause resistance and there is the possibility of getting c. diff diarrhea. I think a lot of elderly get more confused with a cold because of body aches and they can't communicate that. Maybe giving them tylenol every 8 hours may help...but even tyenol has risks but so does wandering and falling due to body aches. No..nothing you can do is safe.  I get pretty bad body aches when I catch a cold so imagine how an elderly person feels. 
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Everyone gets colds and is at risk of the flu and have their own deeply ingrained ideas of the right treatment and preventive measures so I will leave it at that. What I will say is educate yourself and read the labels so you don't overdose on things like Tylenol, Asprin Advil etc and beware that combination narcotics such as Vicodin also contain Tylenol so be aware of the max daily dose allowed. Overuse of antibiotics is known to cause resistance so again caution is essential.
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ferris1 the Z Pack has had major warnings now due to causing heart problems, please do a search on it and read them all.
veronica, my Mom never had pneumonia hence the quick treatment of antibiotics if she shows any signs of a cold. So far so good!
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Along with the chicken soup, TLC, gargling with salt water, and lots of fluids as mentioned above, we use saline nasal spray. Basically it is salt water which helps to dry up the nasal drip. No other medication is in the nasal spray.
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Yes, my husband has a standing order for a Z-pack to take so he won't get pneumonia. And the FDA has put a warning on Tylenol which is all acetaminophen over-the-counter meds (includes Excedrin & Advil) warning of liver damage, especially in the elderly. You too can subscribe to the FDA.gov website.
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If she has a history of colds becoming pneumonia that can be a perfectly reasonable treatment
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I know antibiotics dont cure a cold but if my Mom gets one she is put on amoxicillin right away to avoid pneumonia from settling in. Good Luck!
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Flu vaccines are not good for the elderly no matter what the doctor says, okay? If taken long enough, they can cause all kinds of permanent damage to the body. Also Tylenol causes liver failure even though the FDA refuses to put a black box warning on the label. What I have discovered is that MOST if not ALL prescribed drugs severely weaken the immune system and it is the immune system that is really responsible for improving health. Nourish the immune system with the proper foods and supplements and you will not have to depend on toxic drugs.
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Call the MD, he may want to hold some medications. Antibiotics won't help the common cold. If he has high blood pressure, ask the pharmacist what cold meds are safe with the meds he is on. Remember: Feed a cold, starve a fever. Vitamin C with zinc comes in liquids or chews, give him some. Chicken soup is always good especially homemade with carrots/onion/celery.
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