Understanding Pain Pain Advice

Published on 06th October 2017

Edited on 06th October 2017

What is a Cold? What is Flu?

Colds and flu are both illnesses caused by viruses. Through laboratory research, scientists have found three different viruses that can cause flu, but over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold - sometimes referred to as a "common cold". Colds and flu can affect all ages, from babies to the elderly. 

How to tell the difference between cold and flu

Without the help of scientific laboratory tests, it can sometimes be very difficult to tell which is which. This is because, although their symptoms do have some differences, there are a lot of similarities too. So let's take a look at them:

Cold symptoms

Flu symptoms

Runny nose - with clear mucus at first then thicker, green mucus as the cold progresses

Fever - that may come on suddenly - body temperature can go up to 37.8-40⁰C (100-104⁰F)

Blocked nose



Cough - a dry, chesty cough


Extreme tiredness or exhaustion.  Sufferers may feel the need to lie down and rest

Sore throat

Runny nose, sneezing

Fever, tiredness, muscles aches

A headache

A headache



One other key difference is the impact of seasonality. While Flu tends to be seasonal - during the winter months, Colds can be experienced throughout the year. The reason for this is that flu viruses need different conditions to survive and multiply compared with cold viruses. Also, Flu viruses seem to survive longer in dry, cold, winter air.

Why is it important to know whether it is a cold or the flu?

Since you may not get all the symptoms at the same time, and also because you can suffer the symptoms to different degrees, telling the colds and flu apart can become even more challenging. For example, colds may be called "mild" or "heavy" colds and a heavy cold may feel more like flu. In children and the elderly it is important to recognise the flu as these people are at more at risk of complications compared to the rest of the population.

How to treat colds and flu in children between 3 months (and weighing over 5kg) and 12 years?


  • Hydrate, eat healthily: If your child does fall ill with a cold or the flu, it's important to keep them hydrated by giving them plenty of cool water to drink. Even if your child isn't thirsty, try to get them to drink little and often to keep their fluid levels up. Your child might lose their appetite, they should still eat small portions of low-fat, high fibre ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Check clothing: Dress your child appropriately for their surroundings. It’s important they are not underdressed or overdressed when suffering a fever.
  • Relieve aches, pains and fever: Giving them a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, will help ease discomfort and help to bring down a fever. Ibuprofen, the main ingredient in Nurofen for Children, has anti-inflammatory properties and provides relief from pain and fever. Nurofen for Children can relieve fever for up to 8 hours and starts to work in just 15 minutes to reduce a fever.


How to treat colds and flu in adults and children over 12?

Painkillers such ibuprofen can help to relieve aches and pains, however, Nurofen Cold & Flu* contains not just ibuprofen, but a decongestant too, called pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. In fact, there’s nothing stronger for your cold and flu pain and congestion than Nurofen Cold & Flu. Powerful and long lasting, it works to alleviate your symptoms for up to 8 hours** to help you get on with your day.

Aside from treating your symptoms with medication, there are other things you can do to help speed up your recovery, such as staying rested, keeping warm, and staying hydrated.

Nurofen Cold & Flu*  

This product is for adults and children age +12. Nurofen Cold & Flu provides fast, effective relief from the major symptoms associated with a cold, flu and congestion. In fact, there’s nothing stronger or that lasts longer for your cold and flu pain and congestion than Nurofen Cold & Flu.

How does Nurofen Cold & Flu* work?

As we have seen already, Nurofen Cold & Flu contains two ingredients, ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine.

Ibuprofen - to help treat pain and fever and has anti-inflammatory properties

Ibuprofen works by blocking the production of some chemicals in the body called prostaglandins - their action can lead to pain and headaches. But prostaglandins are also believed to be a source of a fever and possibly make tissues inflamed and swollen. They are one of the reasons why your throat may swell up when you are sick and your nose gets blocked when you have a cold or flu.

Pseudoephedrine - to help treat associated congestion

None of the symptoms of a cold or flu are pleasant. Feeling bunged up is annoying and inconvenient and can affect your breathing. So, this is where the pseudoephedrine ingredient in Nurofen Cold & Flu may help you. That is because pseudoephedrine is a decongestant and it helps to relieve cold or flu associated nasal and sinus congestion (blocked nose), which in turn helps to make your breathing easier.

If you are in any doubt about the way you are feeling, you should seek professional, medical help. However, for a cold or flu, consider visiting your local pharmacy for Nurofen Cold & Flu. It provides powerful, fast, effective relief from the major symptoms associated with colds, flu and congestion; fever, congestion, sore throat and aches & pains.

* For adults and children over 12 years. Product may not be suitable for some people, see pack leaflet or ask your doctor or pharmacist for details. Always read the label.

**Refers to Ibuprofen

All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe.

NUROFEN COLD & FLU. Always read the label.

Nurofen for Children Orange/Strawberry,200ml, Contains Ibuprofen. from 3 months and weighing over 5kg to 12 years. Always read the label.