Hello, I am sorry that your mother is not doing well.
Unfortunately, I can not help with OTC drugs, I am more familiar with vitamins, etc. In that end, I can suggest large doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, Zinc, and the herb, Echinacea, also, Bee's propolis is outstanding, it is nature's antibiotic.
Make sure she drinks plenty of water, and for her breathing, have her sit in a hot bath, the humidity should help. I really do not like to prescribe when I hear about breathing issue however, and if that gets worse, you should insist that she go to the ER.
With regard to deciding which medications your mother should take, all depends on what is causing her breathing difficulty.
Breathing difficulties should always be taken seriously and if she is really bad with that, you should consider getting her checked out at the ER.
Should the breathing problem be due to congestion because of having a cold or flu virus there are decongestant medications that you can purchase from the pharmacy. The pharmacist would be able to help and advise you on that, because it also depends with regard to what other medications your mother is already taking. Some decongestants, for example, can raise blood pressure and should not be taken if she is already on medication for hypertension (high blood pressure).
If she does have a cold and flu, then there are medications to relieve the symptoms of raised temperature and aches and pains. Your pharmacist will be able to help with that too.
If the breathing difficulty is because she feels congestion in her lungs - ideally she should be seen by a doctor to assess if she has an infection that needs treating with an antibiotic.
To help with congestion, which may be in the sinuses, nose, Eustachian tube or the lungs, get her to do steam inhalations.
To do a steam inhalation, boil up a kettleful of water and pour this into a bowl, taking care not to get scalded. Put some Vick or olbas oil or any menthol oil that you have (just a few drops) into the hot water. Get your mum to bend her head over the bowl, cover the head and the bowl with a towel and breathe the steam in with her nose and out through her mouth. She needs to do this for a duration of about 10 minutes and 4 times a day. Any time is better than not doing it at all. She can carry on doing this for a few days until her symptoms clear. There are no side effects with doing this, but just take care with the hot water.
There are also menthol lozenges that help to clear the air passages, and these can be purchased at the pharmacy or from a supermarket.
Vitamin D3 supplements. Upper tolerable limit per day is 4000 IU.
"Scientists have found that vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin - the killer cells of the immune system -- T cells -- will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body. The research team found that T cells first search for vitamin D in order to activate and if they cannot find enough of it will not complete the activation process." - Science Daily - Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defenses.
Thank you very,very much!I'll go out and get some Vitamin D3 supplements and Vicks oil,and maybe some tea to make her feel more comfortable.She has considered going to the ER,but she's so busy with work that she hasn't had time to go to one.By the time she comes home,she just wants to rest.I'm still really unsure about getting the right medicine,and I don't know of any local physicians I might be able contact,and though I'd still like to get her appropriate medication,I feel better knowing some other methods that can help her feel better.