Is Cold Medicine a Waste of Time?

“A 2009 study that will sound especially sinister to anyone who suffers from allergies put 39 patients with a grass allergy into a sealed room called the “Vienna Challenge Chamber.” Then, the scientists piped in grass pollen. The people were given phenylephrine, a sugar pill or another decongestant called pseudoephedrine. Phenylephrine did no better than the placebo, while pseudoephedrine — which must be obtained by going to the pharmacist’s counter — beat them both.”

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