Best practices for managing cough, cold and flu

Target Audience:
Pharmacists in community-based practice.
Universal program number: 0401-0000-16-008-H01-P

CE Broker tracking number: 20-572162
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To enhance the pharmacist’s ability to provide consultation on the prevention and treatment of cough, cold and flu in both adult and pediatric populations.


Cough, cold and flu are among the most commonly experienced conditions in adults and children, leading them to seek medical care.1,2 Patients and caregivers frequently seek the pharmacist’s advice for recommendations to treat symptoms associated with cough, cold and flu, and to prevent the spread. Pharmacists have expertise in the proper use of OTC medications and are perfectly positioned in the community to serve as trusted advisers to help patients understand, interpret and safely use OTC medications and other products. This education should provide guidance for patients to appropriately self-treat, including keeping medicines out of the reach of children and how to dispose of unused medicines. The pharmacist also can provide guidance on when antibiotics may or may not be needed. This is important given the widespread concern of antibiotic overuse and the development of resistant bacteria.  Additionally, administering flu vaccine is an important public health role that pharmacists provide. Flu vaccination rates have been incorporated in numerous quality reporting programs, including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Medicare Star Ratings. By providing flu vaccination, the pharmacist is helping many health plans achieve better quality outcomes. This continuing-education activity will provide information about the cause, treatment and prevention of cough, cold and flu in adults and children, including when referral for additional medical care is advised.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Describe the epidemiology, etiology and symptomatology associated with cough, cold and flu in adults and children.
  2. List counseling points and techniques, such as motivational interviewing, for both patients and caregivers on strategies that may help prevent cough, cold and flu.
  3. Identify conditions and patient populations when nonpharmacologic options, including humidifiers and vaporizers, are appropriate.
  4. Recall evidence-based research regarding nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic options available for managing cough, cold and flu in adults and children.
  5. Classify situations where self-care using nonprescription drug therapy for cough, cold and flu are appropriate and when patients should be referred.
To obtain credit:

No payment is necessary. This lesson is sponsored by Kaz.

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

If you have a question, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

All other customer service questions should be directed to


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through Oct. 1, 2018.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course opens: 
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course expires: 

Marsha Millonig, BPharm, MBA, consultant and associate fellow, at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, center for leading healthcare change

Marsha Millonig and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 Pharmacist

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Please login or register to take this course.