The common cold derives its medical importance chiefly from the fact that it is followed so frequently by secondary infection. The uncomplicated cold, now generally accepted as caused by a filtrable virus, runs a mild course, usually afebrile, and clears up completely in four to seven days. On the other hand, a cold complicated by a secondary bacterial infection which may involve the sinuses, middle ear, mastoids, larynx or lungs can lead to a fatal outcome. It is evident, therefore, that the cold problem would be greatly simplified if all colds could be retained in the uncomplicated form by some relatively harmless medication. The value that sulfadiazine, the least toxic of the sulfonamides, might have in this role is the consideration of this study.
It is generally agreed that the sulfonamides have little or no effect on the virus initiating the common cold, but it has been accepted that they
CECIL RL, PLUMMER N, SMILLIE WG. SULFADIAZINE IN THE TREATMENT OF THE COMMON COLD. JAMA. 1944;124(1):8–14. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850010010003