Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

  • None

Other Proposed Natural Treatments

The cough reflex is intended to expel mucus and other unwanted material from the breathing passages. However, sometimes it takes on a life of its own and causes an unproductive cough that seems to serve no purpose except to keep you awake. The most common cause of coughing is a viral infection. Sometimes a chronic cough may indicate asthma , either allergic or created temporarily by a respiratory infection. Other causes of cough include sinus drainage tickling the throat and chronic bronchitis. First and foremost, medical treatment for cough involves treating the underlying condition, if possible. When appropriate, cough suppressants may be prescribed as well, to hold coughing to manageable levels. Most cough remedies contain codeine or the codeine-like drug dextromethorphan to suppress the cough reflex, as well as guaifenesin, which is thought to loosen mucus. Other common ingredients such as decongestants and antihistamines do not directly affect coughs. Unfortunately, there is no reliable evidence that any over-the-counter cough suppressant actually works. 1 Furthermore, while it is often said that prescription codeine cough syrups are more effective than dextromethorphan, one study found that neither codeine nor dextromethorphan reduced night-time coughing in children to any greater extent than placebo. 2 In another study, prescription codeine cough syrup failed to prove more effective than dextromethorphan. 3

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