Abstract Navy Wave recruits suffering from an acute respiratory disease clinically. classifiable as the common cold were admitted in rotation to groups receiving treatment with atropine sulfate, a placebo, and an antibhistamine drug. A few cases of influenza were included in the groups. No evidence was derived that either atropine or the antihistamine aborted colds or effected any important variations in their duration or symptomatology. The observation was made that the antihistaminic drug had an atropine-like effect on the nasal mucosa. The use of the appearance of the nasal mucosa as a criterion for “cure” in the evaluation of these drugs against colds may prove misleading.