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Cold Comfort: Treating the Common Cold

Amanda Stevenson-Grund - Friday, November 06, 2015

In the United States, the common cold is thought to account for approximately 75-100 million physician visits annually, with an economic impact of greater than $20 billion per year due to cold-related work loss.” – MedicineNet. Common Cold. 2015

A couple sick with the common cold blows their noses

“In the United States, colds account for more visits to the doctor than any other condition,” according to the American Lung Association. This shows that the name is not a misnomer, and the common cold really is a common problem. The common cold has no cure, and medicines that treat its symptoms are of short duration or are difficult to swallow.

Because the common cold is a viral infection, not a bacterium, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Viruses are neither living, nor dead, so they can’t be killed. Viruses can be prevented with vaccines, but because hundreds of virus strains can cause the common cold, vaccines are impractical. Although there is currently no cure or prevention for the common cold, there are treatments for its symptoms.

Many medications that treat such symptoms have effects of short duration. Medications include cough syrups and throat lozenges, nasal decongestants and pain relievers. Most of these give relief for only a few hours, which can lower compliance and leave patients in pain and discomfort.

The common cold affects children more than adults. Children, especially young children, are likely to have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules. However, many medications that treat symptoms of the common cold only come in these hard-to-swallow forms. This also lowers compliance and gives patients less relief.

The common cold has no cure, and many of the medications that treat its symptoms have short-lasting effects and are difficult to swallow. Low compliance often means little or no relief. Through the OptimµmTM platform, Orbis Biosciences has developed a long-lasting, format-flexible form of guaifenesin, an expectorant. Because our drug lasts longer than the conventional form and comes in many formats, it can improve compliance and give patients the relief they need. The common cold might not go away any time soon, but the pain and discomfort it causes will, thanks to new products like those in the development pipeline at Orbis.

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