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Doctors say cough syrup not worth cash

Well, here is the news that you don’t want to read.  QUIT spending your hard-earned money on cough syrup.  If you are coughing, it is because your body is trying to rid itself of an irritant.  Stop fighting you rbody.  Your body knows best.  If you really FEEL that you MUST treat a cough, use an antihistamine.  ”Recent studies have suggested that cough syrup — usually containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan and the expectorant guaifenesin — works no better than sugar water.

By BOB LAMENDOLA
South Florida Sun-sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Over-the-counter cough syrup, a staple of American medicine cabinets, doesn’t work very well and isn’t worth the money when fighting the common cold, a national doctors group says.

In new guidelines for treating coughs, the American College of Chest Physicians advised dropping cough syrup and instead relying on familiar, low-cost antihistamines against coughs caused by simple upper respiratory tract infections.

“Cough syrups may suppress a cough a little bit. But they don’t treat the underlying cause,” said Dr. Michael Alberts, a Tampa pulmonologist who is president of the physician group.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3602281.html

“They won’t make you better any faster.”

Another option that some doctors recommend: Just tough it out, because colds typically go away on their own.

Americans buy about $2.9 billion worth of over-the-counter cold medicine and another $400 million of prescription cold medication, a university study found in 2003. About $270 million goes for cough syrup, which generally sells for a few dollars a bottle.

Recent studies have suggested that cough syrup — usually containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan and the expectorant guaifenesin — works no better than sugar water.

A small Pennsylvania study of 100 children in 2004 and a British analysis of adult studies in 2002 reached the same conclusion.

In drafting its new guideline, published in the journal Chest, the physicians group looked at the research and concluded cough syrup can give short-term relief for some people — such as helping them fall asleep — but that’s about all, Alberts said.

The group recommends using older-generation antihistamines that may attack the nasal drip and runny nose that cause many coughs. This includes drugs like Dristan and Tylenol Severe Allergy. Newer, expensive antihistamines do not help a cough, the group said. This includes Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec.


Posted by SPN on 01/29 at 10:46 AM in Blogging

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