WHAT’S THE BEST OVER-THECOUNTER COUGH REMEDY?
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.
THIS IS THE SECRET SAUCE TO A GRAMMYWINNING VOICE!