Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cold-EEZE vs generic - Real Relief

It's the cold and flu season again. Guess who is sick first? Yep, it's me. But, I since I found out about using zinc lozenges for colds I won't suffer nearly as much.

My cold is not too bad, but I do have a cough and irritated throat. I'm sure my throat would hurt more if I still had my tonsils. I had a tonsillectomy as a child and haven't had a really painful sore throat since.

Anyway, a friend told me about using zinc lozenges for a cold years ago. I was skeptical at first. I knew there was no cure for the cold since it was a viral infection rather than bacterial. And, I had used most over-the-counter (OTC) medications meant to treat the symptoms of a cold.

Most OTC meds offered limited relief, but they were all that was available as far as I knew (other than vitamin C). Then I tried the zinc lozenges, and I was sold.

The most commonly known brand of zinc lozenges is Cold-EEZE, but there are generics. I usually buy generic zinc lozenges from Dollar General. They are more a tablet than a lozenge, but are meant to be dissolved slowly in the mouth just like a lozenge.

All brands of zinc lozenges leave a funny taste in your mouth that seems to coat your tongue. This means the zinc is doing it's job. The taste is not pleasant but the relief of cold symptoms coupled with a shorter duration is definitely worth the unpleasant taste.

The generic zinc, in my opinion, has a stronger taste than Cold-EEZE but it's about half the price and works just as well.

If you begin taking the zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold you can sometimes stop it in it's tracks. Taking it after your symptoms are full-blown will still reduce the longevity by almost half. And, the zinc actually relieves your symptoms for about 2 hours.

I have bought the brand name of zinc when I had a bad cold. After a few days of taking the generics, the taste can be off-putting, and Cold-EEZE does taste better.

Other than taste there is another potential side effect. Some people experience an upset stomach if the lozenges are taken on an empty stomach. That's an easy cure though. Just eat before taking it.

Overall, I would recommend the generic zinc lozenges mainly based on cost. If you have kids, you will want to keep zinc on hand, and if everyone is taking it 4 times a day it can get expensive to buy the brand name lozenges.

If the taste is more important to you, buy Cold-EEZE. Whichever brand you choose, I would definitely recommend using zinc lozenges to reduce the symptoms and duration of your family's colds. This stuff really works!