Cough Medicines-Do They Really Work?

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

How many bottles of cough syrup do you have sitting in your medicine cabinet?
A new study shows that many over the counter cough syrups and medicines really don't do what they're supposed to.
People are spending an estimated $3 million dollars a year on over the counter cough drugs that probably won't stop those cough.
A new study by the American College of Chest Physicians shows most of those medicines aren't worth the money...
Dr. Mark Attermier of Midelfort Clinic agrees with those findings.
?Whether or not it actually does much to relieve the symptoms is really open to question,? he says.
?Even things that's supposed to make your lung secretions more fluid so you can cough them up, we've never really been able to prove that they do much.?
People are still buying cough remedies because they think it helps when really the doctor says it's the power of positive thinking.
?When you expect a medication to work, chances are you'll feel better,? Attermier says.
Doctors say in most cases a cough will go away in seven to ten days so it's not really the medicine that's helping but the natural process.
If the cough doesn't go away by that time or if it gets worse, it's time to visit a doctor.
However, Dr. Attermier says there may be one syrup that can help.
?The only thing that does work in the proper dosages is Dextramorphin,? says Attermier, ?So when you see a drug that says D or DM at the end of it, D stands for Dextramorphin.
Still, if you're taking any cough syrup with DM, Attermier says you might have to take it in larger doses than recommended on the bottle for it to work.
The trade group for makers of over the counter medicines, and the Food and Drug Administration support use of the products, even though chest doctors disagree...


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