Over the Counter Cough Syrup is Useless!

Over the Counter (OTC) cough syrup is heavily advertised to help you keep coughing to a minimum during illness. But a new study says, in effect, don’t waste your money!

OTC Cough Syrup is Useless!

“Irwin’s committee echoed a 2004 paper by the Cochrane Collaboration, a non-profit group that reviews scientific evidence for medical treatments: ‘There is no good evidence for or against the effectiveness of OTC medicines in acute cough.'”

They go on to say that there is a string placebo effect that probably explains why people think they are effective.


  • Hey Dr. Bill. Great to see a site like this. My wife is a naturopath here in Greensboro and she’s filled my mind with enough info like this to completely change the way I look at medecine and healing. Keep it up.

  • Don’t forget one of the other findings of that same study:

    “Instead, adults with acute cough or upper airway cough syndrome (also known as postnasal drip syndrome) should be treated with a decongestant and/or a first-generation antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine).

    ‘There is considerable evidence that older type antihistamines help to reduce cough, so, unless there are contraindications to using these medicines, why not take something that has been proven to work,’ Dr. Irwin said.”

    So, OTC cough syrup may not work, but OTC decongestants and antihistamines do work.

  • Nevertheless, antihistamines ARE drugs, and can have side effects, even simple ones, like making you sleepy. I will stick with with peppermint and ginko, I believe.

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