This study was a single center trial comparing the effects of the nonsedating antihistamine terfenadine, at a dose of 120 mg twice a day, with placebo in the treatment of rhinitis symptoms associated with the common cold. Forty-nine subjects were treated with terfenadine, 120 mg twice each day, and 48 subjects were treated with placebo twice each day for four or five days. Evaluations by both subjects and physicians suggest that terfenadine at 120 mg given twice daily marginally improved sneezing and total symptom scores at day 4. When comparing terfenadine to placebo, neither the symptoms nor signs of the common cold improved in a clinically or statistically significant manner. Terfenadine was well tolerated and had a low incidence of side effects. Terfenadine was found to be ineffective in the treatment of the signs and symptoms of the common cold.