What Are People's Preferred Over-The-Counter Flu Medicine? - Health Digest Survey

According to data estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spanning from 2010 to 2020, the flu is thought to be responsible for anywhere from 9 million to 41 million cases of illness each year. For most people, the Mayo Clinic explains that rest and hydration is the primary form of treatment for the respiratory virus. While physicians may administer prescription medications for those most at risk of severe cases of infection, many physicians will reach for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to help relieve the symptoms of most patients.

Symptoms of the flu include body aches, fever, chills, cough, congestion, general tiredness, sore throat, and headache, amongst others, reports the Cleveland Clinic. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or cough suppressants may help target one or two specific symptoms of the flu, but other medications cater to the flu as a whole.

To figure out which OTC flu medicine is most preferred by readers of Health Digest, we asked 610 participants to choose their go-to product out of five possible answer choices. Here's what they had to say.

Many respondents reach for this product

With the least amount of answers was Advil Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu with a total of 39 votes (6.39% of the total). Made with a three-ingredient combo formula of an NSAID, nasal decongestant, and antihistamine, the product is designed to alleviate even the toughest of flu symptoms, as stated via their website.

With 10 more votes was Oscillococcinum. This answer made up a little over 8% of total responses. The company states that Oscillococcinum's quick-dissolving pellets are scientifically backed to help lessen the duration and severity of one's symptoms.

The third most popular answer amongst respondents was Theraflu with 87 votes, accounting for 14.26% of answers. This product can be taken in the form of a caplet, syrup, or hot liquid formula (per Theraflu).

The answer for top preferred over-the-counter flu medicine by readers came down between Tylenol Cold + Flu Severe and NyQuil Cold & Flu. In first place, NyQuil Cold & Flu won out with 274 votes, making up nearly 45% of answers, compared to 161 votes (over 26%) for Tylenol Cold + Flu Severe.

As the winner, NyQuil Cold & Flu offers maximum-strength relief from 9 different flu-related symptoms. Vicks offers NyQuil products in the form of powders, liquids, caplets, and more. Additionally, some of their products contain soothing honey flavors, Vapo cooling ingredients, as well as formulas catering to those with high blood pressure.