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A cough medicine is a drug used to treat coughing and related conditions. Dry coughs are treated with cough suppressants (antitussives) that suppress the body's urge to cough, while productive coughs (coughs that produce phlegm) are treated with expectorants that loosen mucus from the respiratory tract. Oral medication A medication is a licenced drug taken to cure or reduce symptoms of an illness or medical condition. ... Phlegm (pronounced ) is a type of mucus, the sticky fluid secreted by the mucous membranes of animals. ... Mucus is a slippery secretion of the lining of various membranes in the body (mucous membranes). ... In humans the respiratory tract is the part of the anatomy that has to do with the process of respiration or breathing. ...


Cough suppressants

Cough suppressants may act centrally (on the brain, and specifically the vagus nerve) or locally (on the respiratory tract) to suppress the cough reflex. Comparative brain sizes In animals, the brain, or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system. ... The vagus nerve is tenth of twelve paired cranial nerves and is the only nerve that starts in the brainstem (somewhere in the medulla oblongata) and extends all the way down past the head, right down to the abdomen. ... A reflex action or reflex is a biological control system linking stimulus to response and mediated by a reflex arc. ...

Centrally acting suppressants include dextromethorphan (DXM), noscapine, ethyl morphine, and codeine. Dextromethorphan (DM or DXM) is an antitussive drug that is found in many over-the-counter cold and cough preparations, usually in the form of dextromethorphan hydrobromide. ... Noscapine (also known as Narcotine) is an opioid analgesic agonist. ... Ethyl morphine is a chemical compound used as a cough-suppressing medicine. ... Codeine (INN) or methylmorphine is an opioid used for its analgesic, antitussive and antidiarrheal properties. ...

Peripherally acting substances include local anaesthetics, which reduce the sensation of nerves in the throat, and demulcents, which coat the esophagus. Although it is commonly believed that cough medicines must coat the throat to be effective, there is no evidence that it is possible to control coughing by this means. A local anesthetic is a drug that reversibly inhibits the propagation of signals along nerves. ... Nerves (yellow) Nerves redirects here. ... Anatomy In anatomy, the throat is the part of the neck anterior to the vertebral column. ... Demulcent herbs often have a high content of mucilage, making them ideal to soothe and protect irritated or inflammed internal tissues of the body. ... The esophagus (also spelled oesophagus/Å“sophagus), or gullet is the muscular tube in vertebrates through which ingested food passes from the mouth area to the stomach. ...

One might think it unwise to suppress the cough reflex (the mechanism for expelling mucus from the respiratory tract) but severe coughing may lead to lung irritation, causing a vicious cycle. The cough reflex is also very strong and cannot be completely suppressed. However, dry cough (without mucus production) or cough that is exhausting and preventing sleep should be treated with supressants. The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ... In many parts of economics there is an assumption that a complex system of determinants will tend to lead to a state of equilibrium. ...

Recent studies have found that theobromine, a compound found in cocoa, is more effective as a cough suppressant than prescription codeine. This molecule suppresses the "itch" signal from the nerve in the back of the throat that causes the cough reflex. It is possible to get an effective dose from dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa than milk chocolate. Theobromine was also free from side effects in the blind tests.[1] Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the methylxanthine family, which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. ... Cocoa beans in a cacao pod Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. ... Codeine (INN) or methylmorphine is an opioid used for its analgesic, antitussive and antidiarrheal properties. ... Chocolate block in melted chocolate Chocolate is a common ingredient in many kinds of sweets—one of the most popular in the world. ... Chocolate block in melted chocolate Chocolate is a common ingredient in many kinds of sweets—one of the most popular in the world. ... A side-effect is any effect other than an intended primary effect. ...


An expectorant (from Latin ex- "out" + pectoris "of the chest") is a medicine or herb which increases the expulsion of tracheal or bronchial mucus through expectoration or coughing. In over-the-counter preparations, guaifenesin is often used. The effectiveness of expectorants in cough medicines has been questioned; however, water is an effective expectorant and drinking adequate water thins the mucus and enables it to be expelled more easily.[1] It has been suggested that History of the Latin language be merged into this article or section. ... Medicine is the branch of health science and the sector of public life concerned with maintaining human health or restoring it through the treatment of disease and injury. ... A herb (pronounced hurb in Commonwealth English and urb in American English) is a plant grown for culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual value. ... Trachea (IPA: ) is a common biological term for an airway through which respiratory gas transport takes place in organisms. ... A bronchus (plural bronchi, adjective bronchial) is a caliber of airway in the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs. ... Guaifenesin (gwi fen É™ sin) (INN) or guaiphenesin (former BAN) is an expectorant drug usually taken orally to assist the expectoration (bringing up) of phlegm from the airways in acute respiratory tract infections. ...

Herbal remedies considered to be expectorants include the following:

other Binomial name Pimpinella anisum L. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is an herb in the family Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae) whose seed-like fruit (also called aniseed) is used in sweet baking as well as in anise-flavored liqueurs (e. ... Balm of Gilead is a healing compound made from the resinous gum of a bush which grew plentifully in the area of Gilead. ... Species Myroxylon balsamum Myroxylon peruiferum Ref: ILDIS Version 6. ... Tolu balsam is the resinous secretion of Myroxylon toluifera. ... Genera Aframomum Amomum Elettaria The name cardamom (sometimes written cardamon) is used for species within three genera of the Ginger family (Zingiberaceae), namely Elettaria, Amomum and Aframomum. ... Binomial name Tussilago farfara L. Coltsfoot or Tussilago farfara is a plant in the family Asteraceae. ... Species Symphytum asperum Lepechin Symphytum officinale L. Symphytum tuberosum L. Symphytum x uplandicum Nyman Comfrey is an important herb in organic gardening, having many medicinal and fertiliser uses. ... Species See text. ... Elecampane, also called Horse-heal (Inula Helenium), is a perennial composite plant common in many parts of Great Britain, and ranges throughout central and Southern Europe, and in Asia as far eastwards as the Himalayas. ... Binomial name Allium sativum L. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant in the family Alliaceae and genus Allium, closely related to the onion, shallot, and leek. ... Binomial name Hydrastis canadensis L. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. ... Grindelia is a genus of plants native to the Americas belonging to the family Asteraceae, (Compositae). ... Species Hyssopus ambiguus (Trautv. ... [[{{{diversity_link}}}|Diversity]] {{{diversity}}} Binomial name Cetraria islandica Trinomial name {{{trinomial}}} Type Species {{{type_species}}} {{{subdivision_ranks}}} [[Image:{{{range_map}}}|{{{range_map_width}}}|]] Synonyms {{{synonyms}}} Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica) is a lichen whose erect or ascending foliaceous habit gives it something of the appearance of a moss, whence probably the name. ... Irish moss, or carrageen moss (Irish carraigín, moss of the rock) is a species of red algae (Chondrus crispus) which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. ... Binomial name Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Liquorice (Br. ... Species See text Lobelia Lobelia, also known as Indian Tobacco, is a genus in the family Lobeliaceae, comprising some 200 species, some of which are cultivated in gardens. ... Species P. longifolia The lungworts are the genus Pulmonaria of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. ... Species Althaea armeniaca Althaea broussonetiifolia* Althaea cannabina- Hemp-leaved Marshmallow Althaea hirsuta- Hairy Marshmallow Althaea longifolia Althaea ludwigii Althaea narbonensis* Althaea officinalis- Marshmallow * Not accepted as distinct by all authors Althaea is a genus of 6-12 species of perennial herbs, native to Europe and western Asia. ... Wood ear can refer to two different closely related species of edible fungus used primarily in Asian cuisine: Auricularia auricula-judae Cloud ear fungus, also know as white wood ear. This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Species L. - Moth mullein - Denseflower mullein L. - White mullein L. - Black mullein L. - Orange mullein L. - Purple mullein L. - Wavyleaf mullein Schrad. ... Binomial name Asclepias tuberosa L. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa, also called pleurisy root) is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. ... Senega is the dried root of the Polygala Senega, which is official in the British and United States pharmacopoeias. ... Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as Skunk Cabbage. ... Squill or squill liquid is a substance derived from a plant and is used as an ingredient in cough medicine, and in cardiac surgery. ... Species Thuja koraiensis Thuja occidentalis Thuja plicata Thuja standishii Thuja sutchuenensis Thuja (pronounced Thuya) is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae (cypress family). ... Species About 350 species, including: Thymus adamovicii Thymus bracteosus Thymus broussonetii Thymus caespititius Thymus camphoratus Thymus capitatus Thymus capitellatus Thymus carnosus Thymus cephalotus Thymus cherlerioides Thymus ciliatus Thymus cilicicus Thymus cimicinus Thymus comosus Thymus comptus Thymus doerfleri Thymus glabrescens Thymus herba-barona Thymus hirsutus Thymus hyemalis Thymus integer Thymus lanuginosus... Species About 250 species, including: Verbena alata Verbena bonariensis Verbena bracteata Verbena brasiliensis Verbena canadensis Verbena carolina Verbena corymbosa Verbena elegans Verbena gracilis Verbena hastata Verbena hispida Verbena incisa Verbena laciniata Verbena lasiostachys Verbena macdougallii Verbena menthifolia Verbena officinalis Verbena peruviana Verbena phlogiflora Verbena rigida Verbena robusta Verbena runyonii Verbena... Binomial name Marrubium vulgare L. Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound or Common Horehound) is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia. ... Binomial name Prunus avium L. The Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) is a species of cherry, native to Europe and western Asia. ...

Cough drops

Main article: Throat lozenge

Cough drops or throat lozenges are tablets which people can suck to soothe the throat or to alleviate excessive coughing. They are usually small, sweetened (often with artificial sweeteners), and contain an oral anesthetic, such as menthol, which anesthesizes the receptors in the throat that cause the cough reflex. The occasional use of "lozenge" (first used in 1530, according to the Oxford English Dictionary) is due to the original lozenge shape of cough drops. Popular brands of cough drops include Fisherman's Friend, Halls, and Ricola. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Menthol is a covalent organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils. ... Events June 25 - Augsburg confession presented to Charles V of Holy Roman Empire. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP). ... A pullover with a lozenge pattern A lozenge is a parallelogram which usually has two corners pointing up and down that are farther apart than the corners pointing sideways. ... The Fishermans Friend range of lozenges were originally created in Fleetwood, Lancashire in 1865 to relieve various respiratory problems suffered by fishermen who sailed from the town. ... Halls is the brand name of a popular cough drop. ... The Ricola AG is the best known cough drop manufacturers of Switzerland. ...


In 2002, researchers at the University of Bristol (Schroeder & Fahey) published a study in the British Medical Journal indicating that some cough medicines are no more effective than placebos.[2] In 2006, the American College of Chest Physicians published a guideline that had the dual message that many over-the-counter cough medicines are not effective and that those that are effective in treating the symptom do not treat the underlying cause; the underlying disorder emphasized by the guideline was pertussis (whooping cough) in the elderly.[3] This guideline has been referred to by many news articles in the lay press, which emphasize the economic impact of discouraging cough medicine use while not touching on the health concerns expressed.[4] For the Cusco album, see 2002 (album). ... The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA)which published its first issue in 1845. ... A placebo, from the Latin for I will please, is a medical treatment (operation, therapy, chemical solution, pill, etc. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) is a medical organization consisting of physicians and non-physician specialists in the field of chest medicine, which includes pulmonology, thoracic surgery, and intensive care medicine. ... Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease that is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths. ...

Many cough mixtures contain both an expectorant and a suppressant -- even though an expectorant requires the action of a cough to expel mucus. Many believe this supports the idea that cough supression is just a placebo effect. However, in practice the two active ingredients combine to provide less coughing, but more productive coughs.[citation needed]

Colloquial term usage

"Cough medicine" is also commonly used as a euphemism for whiskey and other strong alcoholic beverages, as in "Grandpa's old cough medicine". A euphemism is an expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling to the listener than the word or phrase it replaces, or in the case of doublespeak to make it less troublesome for the speaker. ...


  1. ^ Vince, Gaia, "Persistent coughs melt away with chocolate", New Scientist, November 22, 2004.
  2. ^ Knut Schroeder and Tom Fahey (2002). "Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of over the counter cough medicines for acute cough in adults". British Medical Journal 324: 329–331. PMID 11834560.
  3. ^ American College of Chest Physicians (January 9, 2006). New Cough Guidelines Urge Adult Whooping Cough Vaccine; Many OTC Medications Not Recommended for Cough Treatment. Press release.
  4. ^ Tanner, Lindsey, "U.S. doctors say cough syrups don't work", The News Journal from Associated Press (link is to MSNBC on-line version), January 10, 2006, pp. A3.

New Scientist cover - 18 December 2004 New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. ... The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA)which published its first issue in 1845. ... The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) is a medical organization consisting of physicians and non-physician specialists in the field of chest medicine, which includes pulmonology, thoracic surgery, and intensive care medicine. ... The Delaware News-Journal (also known as The News Journal) is a Wilmington, Delaware newspaper. ... Associated Press logo The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ... MSNBC (a portmanteau of Microsoft and NBC) is a 24-hour cable news channel in the United States. ...

External links

  • Cough medicines not helpful - from MayoClinic.com

  Results from FactBites:
Definition of antitussive - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (26 words)
Learn more about "antitussive" and related topics at Britannica.com
Find more about "antitussive" instantly with Live Search
See a map of "antitussive" in the Visual Thesaurus
TORAY | Press Releases | Co-development in Japan of a non-narcotic antitussive which has a new action mechanism (611 words)
Antitussive (so-called "cough remedy") is widely used in the treatment of coughs caused by "colds" to acute and chronic respiratory diseases including bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Antitussives are roughly classified into "narcotic antitussives" (codeine phosphate, etc.) and "non-narcotic antitussives".
Though the "narcotic antitussives" demonstrate excellent effect, they cause adverse reactions such as drug dependency, constipation, sleepiness, respiratory restraint, etc. The adverse reactions caused by the "non-narcotic antitussives" are milder and therefore this type of antitussive is frequently used in the initial stage of treatment.
As a drug with potent antitussive action but with less adverse reactions, this new compound is expected to improve the quality of life (QOL) in the patients through suppressing the cough caused by various acute and chronic respiratory diseases.
  More results at FactBites »



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