Cold and flu medicines may not work - experts

If you're feeling under the weather, cold and flu remedies may not help.

Consumer New Zealand says they're no more effective than paracetamol, rest and honey.

Sue Chetwin from Consumer NZ said they don't believe there is any evidence to back the claims being made for cold and flu remedies. 

"People are spending good money on these products thinking that they're going to work when there's no really good evidence to show that they do."

Consumer New Zealand looked at more than 50 products, from decongestants to cough drops.

In 30 of them, it found a lack of scientific backing, although nasal sprays helped a blocked nose.

Sue Chetwin is calling on Medsafe to review the claims and Medsafe says it will consider the request.

But the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry says there's "no reason to conclude such products do not work."

And consumers can be "assured that registration by Medsafe means that the available evidence has been clinically assessed as acceptable for safety, quality and efficacy."

So what do the medical professionals say? 

Dr Jodie O'Sullivan, General Practitioner advises that "If it's mild symptoms, go to bed, take vitamin C, have Paracetamol, some Ibroprufen if you've got it, lots of fluids and stay away from anyone who could be compromised by your illness." 

She also says that if it's serious, go to your doctor.