WHAT’S THE BEST OVER-THECOUNTER COUGH REM­EDY?

Men's Health (Singapore) - - NOW! - - Tom

The best rem­edy should work like a re­mote con­trol that has one but­ton: mute. But we’re guess­ing you asked the ques­tion be­cause the stuff you’ve been swal­low­ing low­ers the vol­ume only just a bit. No mat­ter. We asked ex­perts to cough up their ad­vice on si­lenc­ing your hack track.

FOR A DRY COUGH

Dex­tromethor­phan is the best OTC cough stop­per, says Dr Peter Dicpini­gaitis, di­rec­tor of the Mon­te­fiore Cough Center in New York. It’s thought to block a cough cen­tre in your brain. But

many prod­ucts, es­pe­cially multi-symp­tom for­mu­las, don’t con­tain enough of the drug to be ef­fec­tive, he says. Pick a prod­uct with 30mg per dose, such as Dayquil Cough.

FOR A PHLEGMY COUGH

Use a prod­uct that con­tains an ex­pec­to­rant, which thins mu­cus, says Dr Dicpini­gaitis. The most com­mon, guaife­n­esin, wears off quickly, so you may have to take it up to six times a day. Look for an “ex­tended re­lease” for­mula, such as Mucinex. That way, you can take up to 1,200mg ev­ery 12 hours, he ad­vises. Just be sure not to ex­ceed 2,400mg a day.

FOR A QUICK FIX

Stash some men­thol cough drops in your desk drawer. Men­thol’s cool­ing ef­fect seems to in­ter­rupt the neu­ral ac­tiv­ity in­volved in cough­ing, says Dr Bren­dan J. Can­nin, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity who stud­ies the cough re­flex. Suck on lozenges with about 5mg to 10mg of men­thol per dose, such as Halls Ice Blue drops.

FOR DRUG-FREE RELIEF

A spoon­ful of honey can help by spurring saliva pro­duc­tion. Try this: Make a paste from a ta­ble­spoon of honey and three tea­spoons of in­stant cof­fee crys­tals, and stir it into a glass of warm wa­ter. In an Ira­nian study, peo­ple with lin­ger­ing coughs who drank this three times a day for a week were cough­ing less than a con­trol group a week later.

*COUGH, COUGH*

THIS IS THE SE­CRET SAUCE TO A GRAM­MY­WIN­NING VOICE!

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