Does Cough Syrup Actually Work?

Posted: Jan 4 2017, 12:10pm CST | by , in Also on the Geek Mind


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Does Cough Syrup Actually Work?
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In 2015, the market for OTC cold and cough medicines came in at $9.5 billion, with several billion dollars spend on treating the problem around the world. Still, a recent report says that the incidence of the flu was actually down by 10.7% in the last three months of 2015.

With such a large industry and a market that keeps growing, it begs us to ask the question: Does cough medicine actually do anything to help us?

The American Chemical Society (ACS), a nonprofit chartered by the US Congress, looked at the medicine and published its findings in a video:

In the video, the ACS looked at the different medicines and concluded that: “There is very little evidence that cough syrup is effective at treating coughs. And carefully performed clinical trials show that these medications are generally no better than a placebo. In one review, 15 out of 19 studies analyzed either showed no benefits or the results were conflicting. Other reviews had similar findings.”

Cough medicine has changed a lot since the 19th century when common methods for cure included chloroform, morphine, cannabis, and even heroin. Today's active ingredients are "more reasonable" according to the ACS. Each ingredient has a specific task, including loosening and thinning mucus, decongesting lungs, and reducing swelling in the throat.

According to a report, cough syrup sales were up almost $580 million in 2015. While they might not help you with your cough, many will help you sleep.

Still, you have to worry about taking large doses, as they can create health problems and lead to death, especially in young children.

ACS suggests other non-medical remedies that could help, including drinking plenty of fluids, sucking on cough drops, or exercising. In any case, a cough should go away on its own in a week or two.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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