The «business card» of a cold is a barking, torturous cough. It irritates colleagues at work, interferes with sleep, causes chest pain. With a touch of humor, it can even be called a sport.
There are hundreds of cough remedies in pharmacies, but how to understand which one is better?
This depends on the nature of the cough, the age of the patient, and the specifics of the disease. But we will not complicate it, and just figure out what adults are treated with in the USA.
There is a website Drugs.com, its purpose is to convey objective information about drugs to ordinary Americans. The site has an excellent reputation, it cooperates with the US health authorities, so you can trust the data.
Drugs that thin the mucus and accelerate its elimination are called mucolytics. And if you look at the information from Drugs.com here, it turns out that only N-acetylcysteine is used for these purposes in the USA.
How does N-acetylcysteine work?
A cough occurs when mucus forms in the lungs due to an infection, usually viral. It interferes with normal breathing, and your body tries to «clear» the lungs with a strong flow of air — a cough. But everything is not so simple — the mucus is incredibly sticky. You have to cough for a long time before even a small amount of it comes out. N-acetylcysteine breaks down the chemical bonds between mucus particles, making it looser and less sticky. As a result, the mucus is coughed up faster and you recover.
You will ask: «Okay, author, why are there other cough remedies in the pharmacy?»
It will hardly be news to you that the domestic pharmaceutical industry is significantly behind the West. There are many drugs on the market without proven efficacy, copies with the same active ingredient, dietary supplements… Just compare the list of acetylcysteine drugs on Drugs.com and on Tabletki.ua. The difference of 4 against 40 is quite indicative.
Herbal remedies are not used to treat coughs because plants can cause allergies and do not have proven efficacy. Many synthetic drugs have not shown their benefits in independent research.
However, you should understand that self-treatment is appropriate only in the case of mild forms of colds. If the condition worsens or lasts for a long time — be sure to see a doctor. Your health is only in your hands.
Want to know how to make a home first aid kit according to American recommendations? We have prepared a special article for you!