Does cough medicine work? Banish a dry or chesty cough with this remedy

Whether it’s a dry, chesty, tickly or mucus cough, a cough can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. 

Most coughs will usually go away within three weeks on their own - if it lasts longer than this you should visit your GP. 

There are a variety of cough medicines available on the market, but which one should you go for and do they even work? 

Dr Sarah Jarvis, who works in the mass media to promote health, Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at the Now Healthcare Group, and the NHS offered their views on cough medicine and their best remedies to get rid of a cough. 

Dr Thornber revealed: “Cough syrups and lozenges can help but won’t get rid of the cough.” 

Cough medicine may not be able to banish your cough but they can certainly offer some relief. 

So what cough medicine should you choose?

Dr Jarvis said: “The only thing I’ve been able to prescribe for years is glycerol syrup, which is basically sugar and water.

“Your pharmacist on the other hand has got access to dozens of alternatives and really, if I’ve got one piece of advice, make the pharmacist your friend.”

What does the NHS suggest is the best way to get rid of a cough?

The health body says: “You should rest, drink plenty of fluids and drink hot lemon with honey (not suitable for babies).

“Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect as cough medicines.” 

Perhaps one of the most annoying symptoms of a cough comes at night - mucus can build up in your throat while you lay down which can trigger your body to cough. 

But there are some things you can to relieve night time coughing so you can get a better night’s rest. 

Dr Thornber has three tips for relieving a cough at night. 

He said: “It can be difficult to sleep with a cough. There are a few things you can do to try and make it easier to get some rest. 

“A non-caffeinated drink, such as herbal tea or hot water with honey can help. 

“Try and sleep propped up or on an incline. Don’t have your room too humid, so turn down heating and maybe open a window. 

“Keep a glass of water by your bedside to help if you have a coughing episode.” 

Dr Sarah Jarvis has also recommended the best remedies to ease the fever and day time cough that comes with Aussie flu. 



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