Cold and cough is a common health problem that is widely seen due to pollution and change in weather. It is known that our bodies take time to adapt to the seasonal changes. If there is a sudden change in weather, most kids and even some adults get affected with cold and cough.
Cough and cold are also known as upper respiratory tract infections. It generally causes a lot of inconvenience as you are unable to breathe normally and the nose often gets blocked and running. The cough hurts your chest and does not allow you to sleep at night, thus causing discomfort.
Most individuals would agree that they have been through this phase during seasonal changes and they all ponder over this bizarre question, do I need to take any medicines for cold and cough?
Most of the time mild cold and cough does not require treatment. Cold or cough that is caused due to change in weather subsides on its own in one or two days. If the cold or cough is extreme and hinders in your day to day activities, it is necessary to undergo medication.
If asked what do you do when you have cold and cough, do you visit the doctor or buy medicines from a nearby medical shop for a quick fix.
Most individuals would unanimously answer “Why should we visit the doctor for basic ailments like cold and cough? There are so many over the counter drugs like Strepsils, Benadryl, Vicks Action 500, etc that are easily available and are effective.”
It has been seen that there are very few individuals, who take cold and cough seriously. Most other people either try home remedies or buy Over the Counter medicines that are advertised on television and are easily available without any prescription.
While buying these medicines there is always a series of questions in one’s mind on how safe is it to buy over the counter medicines? What is the right dosage? Are there any side effects of these cough syrups?
Team Medimanage gets answers to some very important questions from renowned Physician, Dr. Pradip Shah from Fortis hospital.
- Why is it important to talk to the doctor before taking any cough syrups when they are easily available at medical stores?
There are different types of cough syrups that are available like suppressants, expectorants, etc. These have different constituents. These medicines are recommended to patients after understanding the type of cough allergy that they have. Most people buy cough syrups (like Benydrl, Strepsils) that are commonly available at medical stores without having proper knowledge about their constituents. Consuming these can sometimes be harmful to their health.
- What are the side effects of these cough syrups?
Most suppressants have Codeine that may lead to constipation. Most cough syrups are sweet and have sedatives. Many individuals tend to have higher dosage due to their sweet taste that can cause excessive sleep and drowsiness. Improper dosage can be hazardous for the individual’s health.
- Who should not take these cough syrups?
Cough syrups should be consumed only in proper dosage as prescribed by the physician. Infants, old people and pregnant women are not advised to take cough syrups unless absolutely necessary and medically advised.
- Are home remedies like tulsi, honey, turmeric helpful in curing cold and cough?
Most Indian families depend on home remedies like tulsi, turmeric and honey. Turmeric is known to increase immunity but does not help in curing cough and cold. Most individuals depend on home remedies and then buy over the counter drugs for self treatment and in the bargain lose time and the severity of the cold and cough considerably increases. It is advised that patients should not treat cold and cough at home and should not rely on over the counter medicines as they may cause harm.
Buying cough syrup over the counter may be an easy and convenient option but it is suggested you should not self medicate as self medication may be harmful.