Some of the medicines used to manage symptoms of a cold include over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, according to Mayo Clinic. Antihistamines may also provide limited symptom relief.
Over-the-counter decongestant sprays can help alleviate symptoms of congestion, notes Mayo Clinic. Saline nasal sprays are another option to treat congestion. Over-the-counter cold remedies can provide relief from a number of symptoms, such as a cough, but they do not shorten the duration of a cold.
Nonmedicinal ways to soothe the symptoms of a cold, include using a salt water gargle to ease sore throat pain. Chicken soup is another good option if one has a cold since it speeds the movement of mucus and limits the amount of time the virus stays in contact with nasal tissue.