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They're tarring all cough medication with the same brush. What they're really talking about is cough medication that uses guaifenesin as the active ingredient. Guaifenesin is ineffective in reducing coughs. But that's not what it does. Guaifenesin thins mucus. Which just makes a cough more productive, but doesn't reduce the urge to cough.

So when the doctors say cough medicine is ineffective in reducing coughs, it's because the manufacturers have been using an ingredient for a purpose it's not intended and marketed it for something it doesn't do. So what's all the hoopla about? It's nothing new. It's not harmful....it just doesn't work. There's plenty of other stuff out there that doesn't work, too, and some of it IS harmful.

Furthermore, the mention that cough medicines that contain other active ingredients -- dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DM) and/or antihistamines (especially diphenhydramine hydrochloride) -- ARE effective in reducing cough symptoms is buried under the alarmism and the fine print.

It's another case of much ado about nothing....the medical community in cahoots with the news media makes a big fuss about something that's not new and not news. I suppose they have to justify their salaries somehow.
 

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The most effective cough reliever I have ever used is a lozenge called "Fisherman's Friend". It comes in little bags of 30 count. If you get the extra strength one it is so strong tasting you have to let it dissolve in your cheek as it will burn your tongue. If anything, cough syrup even makes me cough more because the sugar tickles my throut.
 

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timskitties said:
They're tarring all cough medication with the same brush. What they're really talking about is cough medication that uses guaifenesin as the active ingredient. Guaifenesin is ineffective in reducing coughs. But that's not what it does. Guaifenesin thins mucus. Which just makes a cough more productive, but doesn't reduce the urge to cough.

So when the doctors say cough medicine is ineffective in reducing coughs, it's because the manufacturers have been using an ingredient for a purpose it's not intended and marketed it for something it doesn't do. So what's all the hoopla about? It's nothing new. It's not harmful....it just doesn't work. There's plenty of other stuff out there that doesn't work, too, and some of it IS harmful.

Furthermore, the mention that cough medicines that contain other active ingredients -- dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DM) and/or antihistamines (especially diphenhydramine hydrochloride) -- ARE effective in reducing cough symptoms is buried under the alarmism and the fine print.

It's another case of much ado about nothing....the medical community in cahoots with the news media makes a big fuss about something that's not new and not news. I suppose they have to justify their salaries somehow.
yep, what he said. :)
 

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timskitties said:
the medical community in cahoots with the news media makes a big fuss about something that's not new and not news. I suppose they have to justify their salaries somehow.
Tim - this sort of thing is probably aimed at people who do not look at what is in any over the counter medicine - or any medicine for that matter. It is a pretty unfair statement, even in jest, to tar all medical professionals with the same brush ;)

I forget how many times I have told parents how to look after things like dressings, yet still get them phoning up the next day saying they have done something daft to it and wanting to know if they can come back to have it reapplied.

Guess my point is, not everyone has common sense or the resourcesful nature to go looking, hence why the news reports it in a "digestable" format.
 

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I suppose it's unfair to tar the medical community in its entirety, but my unfavorable attitude of the medical community is based on my own personal experience of being poorly served by that community. No doubt there are many individual professionals of high caliber competence, dedication, motivation, and ethics in the community, but the system, in my case, and thus in my viewpoint, works in such a way so as to deny their good qualities from being utilized to a degree that renders the level of service patients need and deserve. And for many others, as I've observed.

Perhaps things are better where you are. The U.S. health care system, by any recent standards of measurement, is well down in the list. And as much as it costs, it's almost a crime that it should be. And it's only getting worse. Sorry, but I have very good reasons for my antipathy to the health care system that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. It's my opinion that the U.S. health care system deserves to be tarred. Have you ever seen the movie "Network" where the anchorman gets his viewers to shout out their windows, "I'm as mad as h### and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!" Well, that's why I and millions of others are on the verge of with respect to the health care system.

So that news article is just one more example of the many idiocies that set me off about the health care system. Don't take it personally. Hey....my sister is a nurse. :)
 

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timskitties said:
I suppose it's unfair to tar the medical community in its entirety, but my unfavorable attitude of the medical community is based on my own personal experience of being poorly served by that community. No doubt there are many individual professionals of high caliber competence, dedication, motivation, and ethics in the community, but the system, in my case, and thus in my viewpoint, works in such a way so as to deny their good qualities from being utilized to a degree that renders the level of service patients need and deserve. And for many others, as I've observed.

Perhaps things are better where you are. The U.S. health care system, by any recent standards of measurement, is well down in the list. And as much as it costs, it's almost a crime that it should be. And it's only getting worse. Sorry, but I have very good reasons for my antipathy to the health care system that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. It's my opinion that the U.S. health care system deserves to be tarred. Have you ever seen the movie "Network" where the anchorman gets his viewers to shout out their windows, "I'm as mad as h### and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!" Well, that's why I and millions of others are on the verge of with respect to the health care system.

So that news article is just one more example of the many idiocies that set me off about the health care system. Don't take it personally. Hey....my sister is a nurse. :)
Then your sister is a sensible girl ;) And you say the US healthcare is bad? Ever tried the good old NHS for a near death experience? lol

Again, it's one of those things where everything is publicised to be bad, but the majority of my experience with the NHS both working in it and as patient has been favourable. Yes I have heard the horror stories and yes I have met children and families whose care could have been better overall but the majority are very grateful and speak highly of the treatment they receive.

Many people who use the health care system are people who are below the poverty line because thats where the majority of health inequalities lie, so it is only reasonable to assume that they are less likely to be knowledgeable about the ingrediants of cough syrup :)
 

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In health care, as in everything else, there's a whole range of results that can be aggregated in a normal distribution. I suppose I'm a data point in the left-hand tail of the curve. HOWEVER, from the patient's perspective, any result that's less than the absolute best is undesirable.
 

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timskitties said:
What they're really talking about is cough medication that uses guaifenesin as the active ingredient. Guaifenesin is ineffective in reducing coughs. But that's not what it does. Guaifenesin thins mucus. Which just makes a cough more productive, but doesn't reduce the urge to cough.

So when the doctors say cough medicine is ineffective in reducing coughs, it's because the manufacturers have been using an ingredient for a purpose it's not intended and marketed it for something it doesn't do.
Guaifenesin-only medicine is correctly labeled only as "expectorant" and not "cough suppressant". The effect of making dry coughs wetter ad more productive makes them less irritating to the throat.
 
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