US Health Experts Say Cough Medicines Are Not Helpful

Posted on January 10, 2006

The BBC reports that the American College of Chest Physicians has published new guidelines that says there is "no clinical evidence" that OTC cough medicines work.

They suggest adults should use older non-prescription antihistamines and decongestants to stop the flow of mucus that causes the cough.

Children can be harmed by cough medicines, they warn, and they will usually get better without help.

It is possible children could be over-sedated with the medication, they said.

Yahoo Health says there are two different kinds of coughs -- productive coughs and nonproductive coughs. Here is what they say about productive coughs:
A productive cough produces phlegm or mucus (sputum). The mucus may have drained down the back of the throat from the nose or sinuses (postnasal drainage) or may have come up from the lungs. A productive cough generally should not be suppressed; it clears mucus from the lungs.
Here is what they say about nonproductive coughs:
A nonproductive cough is dry and does not produce sputum. A dry, hacking cough may develop toward the end of a cold or after exposure to an irritant, such as dust or smoke.
Obviously people who regularly suffer from raw or soar throats, like allergy sufferers, are going to want something that makes their throat feel better even if their is "no clinical evidence" that they work.

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