Americans spend $3.5 billion annually on over-the-counter cough
remedies. Experts say much of this money is wasted. Guidelines released
by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) earlier this year
indicate that many of the "active" ingredients in cough remedies may be
ineffective, reports the May issue of the Harvard Health Letter.
are many nonprescription cough medicines, but most contain the same
types of active ingredients in a limited number of strengths and
combinations. Here are the four main ones:
what should you take? The new guidelines advise leaving the cough and
cold medicine section and buying an allergy medicine instead. Choose
one that combines an older antihistamine (like brompheniramine,
diphenhydramine, or chlorpheniramine) with a decongestant.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.