Over-the-Counter Medicines May Not Cure That Tickle in Your Throat

By Leah Meyer, 1/17/17

Whitworth University freshman Magdalene Nichols is taking her daily dose of Vitamin D to boost her immune system and keep her body healthy.

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.

Whitworth University freshman Magdalene Nichols describes how she keeps her body healthy in order to prevent getting sick.

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.

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