Switzerland: cough medicines could do more harm than good

07 November 2018

Over-the-counter cough medicines don’t help clear up persistent coughs, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Basel looked at clinical trials comparing the medications against a placebo.

Drugs on trial included common asthma inhaler treatment salbutamol, and another containing codeine.

They found no examples where they significantly sped up recovery or improved patient wellbeing in any of the other areas tested.

And one in seven (14%) of patients experienced unwanted negative side effects, such as nausea, headache, and in some cases even a worsening of their cough.

The research, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that ‘despite being one of the most common causes for seeking medical advice in primary care, there is no beneficial treatment for subacute cough’.

Image credit | iStock

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