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Dx Cough Drug Treatments:

Cough Medication

The Merck Manual Home Edition states:
"Cough helps clear materials from the airways and prevent them from going to the lungs. The materials may be particles that have been inhaled or substances from the lungs and/or airways. Most commonly, material coughed up from the lungs and airways is sputum (also called phlegm—a mixture of mucus, debris, and cells ejected from the lungs). But sometimes a cough brings up blood. A cough that brings up either is considered productive. Older children (and adults) typically cough material out, but younger children usually swallow it. Some coughs do not bring anything up. They are considered dry or nonproductive.
Cough is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to a health care practitioner.
Likely causes of cough depend on whether the cough has lasted less than 4 weeks (acute) or 4 weeks or more (chronic).
Common causes:
For acute cough, the most common cause is An upper respiratory infection due to a virus For chronic cough, the most common causes are Asthma (the most common), Gastroesophageal reflux, Postnasal drip (drainage of fluid from the nose down the throat). "

Medications Used in Treatment:
1. Non-narcotic Antitussives: Tessalon®, Delsym®, Zonatuss®
2. Expectorant/ Opioids: Cheratussin®AC, Guaitussin®AC
3. Antihistamine/ non-narcotic combinations: promethazine DM, Bromfed®DM, ec-Chlorphen®DM
4. Opioid/ Phenothiazines: promethazine/codeine
5. Acetaminophen: Dayquil®
6. Opioid/ Anticholinergics: Hydromet®, Tussigon®
7. Expectorants:

Suggested Links
* N.H.S. Choice
* Medscape on Risk Factors

*[Editor]There is no good evidence for or against the effectiveness of OTC medicines in acute cough. The results of this review have to be interpreted with caution due to differences in study characteristics and quality. Studies often showed conflicting results with uncertainty regarding clinical relevance.  Cochrane Databases 2001-2012

*[Editor] If prescription medication can make little statistical difference, what are the suggestions from the vitamin and supplement world of family medicine? "The common cold, or upper respiratory tract infection, is one of the leading reasons for physician visits. Generally caused by viruses, the common cold is treated symptomatically. Antibiotics are not effective in children or adults. In children, there is a potential for harm and no benefits with over-the-counter cough and cold medications; therefore, they should not be used in children younger than four years. Other commonly used medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, oral prednisolone, and Echinacea, also are ineffective in children. Products that improve symptoms in children include vapor rub, zinc sulfate, Pelargonium sidoides (geranium) extract, and buckwheat honey. Prophylactic probiotics, zinc sulfate, nasal saline irrigation, and the herbal preparation Chizukit reduce the incidence of colds in children. For adults, antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, codeine, nasal saline irrigation, Echinacea angustifolia preparations, and steam inhalation are ineffective at relieving cold symptoms. Pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, inhaled ipratropium, and zinc (acetate or gluconate) modestly reduce the severity and duration of symptoms for adults. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal preparations, including Echinacea purpurea, improve symptoms in adults. Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms. Hand hygiene reduces the spread of viruses that cause cold illnesses. Prophylactic vitamin C modestly reduces cold symptom duration in adults and children".

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