Over-the-Counter Medicines May Not Cure That Tickle in Your Throat
By Leah Meyer, 1/17/17
Coughs are sending more people to the doctor’s office than any other cold symptom, and Americans are spending billions of dollars a year on over-the-counter medications.
WebMD says there is no good evidence that cough suppressants and expectorants help rid a cough, and Retsil Veterans Home doctor Melissa Meyer says that is because over-the-counter medicines are composed of a combination of drugs, not meant to target one specific reason for a cough.
“Picking the right over-the-counter cough medicine is hard because most people can’t figure out why they are coughing. Those medicines are a combination of drugs meant to ease symptoms and pain, not cure the cough. As a doctor, we try to target the origination of the cough with specific medicines, but we also want to make sure the patient is comfortable. A more comfortable patient leads to a faster recovery,” Meyer said during an interview.
Meyer also said that going to visit your doctor is always a good option for getting medications to get rid of a cough or getting advice on what kind of over-the-counter medicine to buy.
There are lots of people out there who stay true to more homeopathic methods of soothing a cough, such as honey and lemon. Whitworth University freshman Magdalene Nichols says she prefers to fill her body with vitamins C and D when she feels a cold coming, and drinks tea with honey to help sooth her throat pain.
“I have nothing against taking medications, but I just like putting more natural things in my body. If I need to go to the doctor to get medicine, I will,” Nichols said.
It is cold and flu season, and doctors like Meyer are giving the advice, “Wash your hands and don’t touch your face,” to keep people from catching a cough.