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Topic 4 Colds.docx

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University of Ottawa
Biopharmaceutical sciences
William Ogilvie

Topic 4: Colds -colds are the most common infection -colds outnumber all other infections 25 to 1 -there are more than 200 viruses that cause colds -e.g.: influenza -influenza can be fatal -it causes the same symptoms as a cold -causes the flu -cold viruses destroy tissues and the immune system causes the symptoms -immune system recognizes the viral infection and produces cold symptoms -there is no cure for the common cold -lasts around 1 week -cold medications may relieve symptoms -most remedies do nothing -by doing something, it makes us feel better -this may be a placebo effect -no medication prevents colds -Common Cold research in England -used human subjects -offered free vacation for research -inspired by the efficacy of penicillin against bacteria; they wanted to find something that would fight viruses -their discoveries include: -sneezing does not spread colds well -they used a sneeze collector -they found that there were few viruses in sneeze particles -it did not produce much disease when they put the sneeze particles in other people -being cold does not cause colds -we hair does not cause colds -immune system function is only suppressed when core body temperatures are changed -kissing does not spread colds -direct exposure to a virus does not always cause colds -there is a 50% success rate -colds spread by nasal secretions -nasal secretions spread very easily -cold viruses are not easily transmitted through the air -we do not get colds from breathing in air -cold viruses are transferred by touch / direct contact -commonly touched objects (e.g.: doorknobs, money) become a problem -colds are more common in crowds due to transfer by touch -school season is cold season -we tend to go inside when it is cold; during summer, we go outside more often and we are less crowded -in school, people are in close proximity with each other -Tristan da Cunha -the incidence of colds were tracked on this isolated island -outbreaks of colds coincided with the arrival of ships to the island -outbreaks of colds always occurred when a ship arrived -this cold pattern is the same in North America -there are no colds in June, July, or August -no ships visited this island during this time -colds occurred during the warmest months on this island -we can conclude that viruses spread because of closeness and contact -washing hands may reduce colds because it is transferred by touching -we should try not to touch our faces as much -hand sanitizers may reduce colds -ethanol kills bacteria and certain viruses that cause colds -overuse may damage skin -if the protective layer of oil is removed, the skin may become dry and crack -wearing a mask will not protect you from the virus -masks may protect others from someone who is infected -masks slow the transmission of the virus from the infected person to a healthy person -the incidence of colds decreases with age -as we age, our behaviour changes -children are more social and have more physical contact with each other -as we age, you acquire immunity by being infected -exposure to a virus causes illness -our initial immune response is too slow and weak to prevent this -the body makes large amounts of antibodies only during infection -after each infection, we build up "memory" cells -later exposure to the same virus does not make us sick because of the memory cells; this acquired immune response is rapid and strong -we cannot cure or prevent colds -we can only treat colds -we should read the back of the box and not the front of the box -e.g.: Buckley's -there is no ingredient in Buckley's that actually helps treat colds -it is a patent medicine and relies on the doctrine of signatures (i.e.: things that taste bad cure you) -contains camphor and menthol -menthol is a weak analgesic -cold remedy ingredients 1) pain reliever / fever reducer -e.g.: acetaminophen -ibuprofen is slowly replacing acetaminophen because it is in too many products and there is a high chance that people will take too much of it because it is found in so many products -there is no such thing as a sinus cold; the sinuses are always infected when you have a cold -e.g.: menthol for sore throats -it is a mild / weak, topical analgesic -produces a cool sensation -in a liquid mixture (like Buckley's), it has little contact time with the throat and is not very effective -it is more effective in cough drops (even though the dose is lower) because they have more contact time with the throat -e.g.: cepacol -contains benzocaine which is a topical anaesthetic -benzocaine is derived from cocaine -anaesthetics take pain away; analgesic reduces pain 2) decongestants -help to dry a runny nose -e.g.: pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine -pseudoephedrine works; phenylephrine does not work -snot is mostly water (~98%) with some mucin (a protein) -the bloodstream supplies the water -blood vessels swell in the nose and mucous membranes enlarge due to vasodilation -when vessels dilate, they become leaky so there is much more water content in the snot -decongestants act as vasoconstrictors and this stops leakage -amphetamine was the original decongestant -e.g.: benzadrine -amphetamines were used as a recreational drug, so drug companies came up with phenylpropanolamine (PPA) -one of the side effects of PPA was appetite suppression -diet pills used PPA - the side effect of PPA used as a diet pill is decongestion -they don't actually work as a diet pill -the first 10 pounds is the easiest to lose; after that, the body goes into starvation mode and we require exercise to lose more weight
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