Medicines used against cough are expectorants, cough suppressants and linctus in syrup form. Expectorants are used to loosen mucus from the respiratory system. Cough suppressants are taken for dry cough. Linctus in syrup form is used for cough treatment and conditions related to cough. These medicines are not recommended for children under the age of 6 because they can be harmful.
Pharmaceuticals used to treat cough are codeine and dextromethorphan. Codeine is thought to be the strongest cough suppressants but there is not enough evidence to support this opinion. Codeine has a placebo effect according to some new trials. Dextromethorphan can be effective against cough in adults while children can not help with cough. Other pharmaceuticals that can help adults to treat cough caused by viral respiratory infections are benzonatate, antihistamines, and guaifenesin. Children can be helped by cough medicines such as decongestants, antihistamines and antihistamines-decongestants combination.
If cough is caused by pneumonia, there is no medicine to treat this type of cough.
There are also alternative medicines to help you in cough treatment.
Honey can help you to treat cough. It can relief cough in children during the night. Give to your child buckwheat honey before bedtime.
Vitamin C prophylaxis can reduce common cold and it can reduce effects of environmental and physical stress to people.
Zinc is considered a cure for common cold and cough. It can help to reduce symptoms of common cold. But if you take zinc nasally it can cause loss of smell. Because of this, zinc is not recommended to use.
Echinacea purpurea can have some effects to early cold or cough treatment but there is not enough evidence to support this. Only some evidence suggest that other echinacea preparations can prevent cold or cough. There are no rigorous and independent trials to confirm this.
There are some Chinese herbs to help you with cough and common cold treatment such as mullein, ginger, hyssop and also garlic and many others. There are no scientific trials to support these herbs with cough healing properties.
Studies showed that cough in adults treated with cough suppressants had a placebo effect. The results were different. Expectorants in one study had placebo while in other study was beneficial. Also, some studies show that antihistamines and decongestants have placebo in cough treatment. Cough in adults can be treated with mucolytics, these medicines eliminate mucus from respiratory tract and reduce cough, according to some studies.
Cough in children treated with antihistamines, cough suppressants, decongestants, and combination of cough suppressants and bronchodilators had only placebo effect.
More children responded well to cough syrup while some children had a placebo effect. Cough syrup is not recommended for children under the age of 2 because it is not effective for those children.
A compound called theobromine found in cocoa solids is better in suppressing cough than codeine. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate. If you eat 50g. of dark chocolate you can get effective dose of theobromine to help you in suppressing a cough. This compound has no any side effects, according to blind tests. Also, cocoa powder contains theobromine.