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Author Topic: Cough Medicines Don't Really Work?
callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Here

quote:
Chicago — Despite the billions of dollars spent every year on over-the-counter cough syrups, most such medicines do little if anything to relieve coughs, U.S. chest physicians say.

Over-the-counter cough syrups generally contain drugs in too low a dose to be effective, or contain combinations of drugs that have never been proven to treat coughs, said Dr. Richard Irwin, chairman of a cough guidelines committee for the American College of Chest Physicians.




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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
The First USA Noel


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I assume they're referring to mixtures for dry coughs - generally if you have a productive cough you don't want to stop the cough, you want an expectorant to get all that goo out of your chest.

Article here suggests when it comes to dry coughs, you could be just as well off taking glycerine or honey.

I've always been a fan of Senega & Ammonia for chesty coughs myself - inexpensive and works a treat(YMMV). Only downside is the taste!

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I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains - that's why I live in Melbourne, where it always bloody rains.

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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How come I find Robitussin to be very effective? I always keep a bottle on hand in case my allergies decide to really flare up.

Dawn--post-nasal drip is a NFBSK!--Storm

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I have never had an OTC cough syrup work worth a damn for me or Li'l Rdr. Cough drops, however, do seem to help quite a bit.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Dimetap has always worked for me. I think it's a placebo effect though, or it works by relaxing me. I take it if my cough is keeping me up at night.

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Officially Heartless

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Brad from Georgia
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Three hot Scotches will work wonders.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Three hot Scotches will work wonders.

You sound like my husband; whenever he feels a cold coming on, he speaks to his doctor: Doctor Jack Daniels that is! [Big Grin]

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by DawnStorm:
How come I find Robitussin to be very effective? I always keep a bottle on hand in case my allergies decide to really flare up.

Dawn--post-nasal drip is a NFBSK!--Storm

Which Robitussin? The primary ingredient in all varieties of Robitussin, guaifenesin, will actually make you cough *more* initially (though the need to cough diminishes as the phlegm is coughed up). The CF formula contains a decongestant which will help dry up the post nasal drip and remove the cause of the coughing (which is how Dimentapp would help relieve a cough as well). and an antihistamine, which would have a similar effect if allergies were the cause of the congestion. The only actual chemical present in non-prescription cough syrup in the US that suppresses the cough reflex in the brain is dextromethorphan HBr. Given that teens and preteens are now using this drug to get high, I wouldn't be surprised if it were now marketed in subclinical doses.

buf 'still studying for the drug test' ungla

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Twankydillo
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I was reading about that in a book, actually. I think it might have been The Pedants Revolt, but I'm not sure and it's at home anyway so I don't even know why I'm saying this [Big Grin]

But I found this as well -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3869379.stm

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Vivling
Happy Holly Days


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The only cough syrup that works for me is Buckleys. I think because the taste is so disgusting that my body tells my immune system to shape up, as to avoid another dose ...

To be honest I think the Quils (day and night) only work because one perks you up with pseudoephedrine and the other knocks you out with alcohol. I have chronic respiratory problems which, before they were treated properly, caused me to have a constant cold. I've tried everything out there ... and I never found that the benefits outweighed the side effects when it came to cold medication. YMMV of course. The only one I liked was an OTC syrup that contained codeine, and that's not something I wanted to make a habit of taking.

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Cure the Blues
We Three Blings


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None of the syrups ever worked for me. Plus, they tend to upset my stomach. I usually just pop cough drops and the occasional ibuprofen, drink lots of tea/juice, and put out as little effort as possible. The Brad-from-Georgia method also has its merits, of course [Big Grin] .

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Angel With Wax Wings
Deck the Malls


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When I used to get bronchitus all the time my mom would give me an OTC medication that stopped my coughing. I'm not sure what it was called but it tasted like the end of a rectal thermometer. Not that I have tasted one of those :-P.

~Monica

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I've got a doozy of a cold right now--and by the way, I actually don't drink scotch at all. Once in a great while I'll have a rum drink, a Margarita, or a gin and tonic, but never more than one.

Anyway, I've been using a neti pot to keep the tubes open, and it does seem to work, though Lord knows it's disgusting.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
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tommi
The First USA Noel


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I had a respiratory infection over Christmas and now I have what I think (based on past experience) is bronchitis. I've been taking the Walmart version of Dayquil and Delsym cough syrup, which the friendly WallyWorld pharmacist said contains the highest OTC dose of the cough suppressant. I've been trying to cut back on the pseudoDayquil because I've been having minor nosebleeds and unrelievable thirst, and I don't think it's a coincidence that those symptoms didn't start until after I'd been taking it a few days (and they quit when I don't take it a couple days).

The Delsym works...eventually...it takes me about an hour to see a noticeable decrease in the amount of coughing. It doesn't get rid of it, just reduces it enough to make me functional again. I haven't checked the amount of sugar in it yet but I know it's 1)the most pleasant-tasting cough syrup I've ever come across and 2)gritty no matter how much you shake it up. It's probably 90% sugar or something. [Big Grin]

[hijack/rant] I called the doctor today and asked for the earliest available appointment. They don't have anything for two NFBSKing weeks. I thought they were supposed to keep a couple openings for emergencies and walk-ins and, y'know, people who don't want to be sick for another two weeks. Time to find a walk-in clinic I guess. [/hijack/rant]

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I've found that the only effective medications for a cough are prescription only. Anything you can buy over the counter is less effective than a packet of Fisherman's Friend or Vicks Blue.

Whatever you do, stay away from Noskapin / Nipaxon (Swedish trade name, couldn't find the name used in other countries). The label say that in rare cases it can cause intense chest pains. Trust me, that is an understatement, both the rareness and the intensity. It has happened to me and to two friends, and the pain is so intense you just curl up in a ball on the floor. I couldn't even have called for an amulance if I had a phone within reach. Eventually, the pain passed, so I did not bother with it further, but both my friends called the hospital when they where able to move again. After describing the symptoms, in both cases the first question they got was "Have you taken Noskapin?".

Btw, it used to be called Nipaxon, but got a bad reputation because of this, so they changed the name. Noskapin is just a misspelled Nipaxon backwards...

Edit: Spelling fixed.

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/Troberg

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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I think most of the cough suppressants that do work work because they relax you. I don't know that it actually does anything to the cough reflex. Something that help dry up the mucous production (like the psuedo whatevers) would eventually have an effect.
My favorite cough medicine is a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon. It soothes the throat and helps loosen things up.
I stay away from the Nyquils and other quils because I have a very strong reaction to dextromathorphan. At regular dosage it makes me have auditory hallucinations. At half dose, I know the noises are there but I don't actually hear them. [Eek!]

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buffyvol
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
guaifenesin, will actually make you cough *more* initially (though the need to cough diminishes as the phlegm is coughed up).
Our Dr told me to just skip the Robotussin and get straight guaifensin syrup. I forget the actual dose that you need, but the otc's don't contain enough, and it's usually much cheaper. Talk about tasing like the buisiness end of a rectal thermometer.
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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I like what Bufungla said about the decongestants in Dimetapp clearing up post-nasal drip. Putting two and two together, a productive cough doesn't usually bug me as much as one caused by the drip, so now it makes sense that Dimetapp works so well for me.

In short, thanks Bufungla.

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Officially Heartless

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Grand Illusion
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Whenever I try to find cough syrup to stop my marathon coughing sessions, all I've found in the past few years on grocery shelves are cough "remedies" that "make coughs more productive." I've always assumed that means that they don't stop a cough, they just loosen up the phlegm. I figure that countless safety recalls, lawsuits and meth manufacturers have forced the U.S. market to drop most of the powerful cough stuff. I sure long for the days of the nasty (but effective) black Formula 44, which I can't seem to find anymore.

Am I correct? Are there any true cough medicines left in the U.S. OTC market?

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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From the OP:
quote:
Over-the-counter cough syrups generally contain drugs in too low a dose to be effective, or contain combinations of drugs that have never been proven to treat coughs, said Dr. Richard Irwin, chairman of a cough guidelines committee for the American College of Chest Physicians.


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Officially Heartless

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beaver_slayer
Deck the Malls


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How come I find coltsfoot extremely effective and 100% natural? And - yes, you can't make meth out of it. Which is a pretty good reason to pull cough supplements off the shelves in itself.
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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by beaver_slayer:
How come I find coltsfoot extremely effective and 100% natural? And - yes, you can't make meth out of it. Which is a pretty good reason to pull cough supplements off the shelves in itself.

Isn't coltsfoot an expectorant? That's a different type of chemical than a cough suppressant. There are many very effective expectorants available over the counter.

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Officially Heartless

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medtchva
Deck the Malls


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I think the effects of all these meds vary so much from person to person that it's hard to call them effective or not. If I'm sick and I have that 'tickle' in my throat, dextromethorpan (cough suppressant) works ONLY if I take a double dose of the medicine. The only thing that consistently works for me is prescription ones with codeine.
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roots
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I agree with Troberg about Nipaxon! I wish I read this post prior to taking it. I got such bad chest pains, I turned bright red and my throat felt like it was closing. I suggest to people not to take this. Thankfully I had something to counteract the effects (I only had that in stock because of having a reaction to an antibiotic last year...also a swedish drug). I think that Sweden has very poor regulatatory practices when it comes to these products. I am a canadian living in Sweden. I never had any reactions to prescribed drugs in Canada, and certainly never to any over the counter cough syrups. I recommend staying away from Nipaxon!
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Floater
Xboxing Day


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I have tried Noskapin once, too, but I didn't feel any chest pains as described here. On the other hand, it was worthless against my cough.

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