Getting coughs and colds during winter is very common in adults and children during the winter. If you get colds with cough, you may want to go to doctor or pharmacy to get some antibiotics and cough suppressant that contains dextromethorphan. Antibiotics are useless in treating coughs as it is mainly caused by virus which the antibiotics cannot kill. So what about popular cough medicines such as dextromethorphan containing syrups?
Last year, the NHS of the UK declared that cough medicines are waste of money as the medical evidence behind them is very “weak”.Now, they recommend honey to treat coughs both in children and adults. There recommendation is based on a clinical trial done in the USA in treating nocturnal coughs in children. They found that honey is much better than dextromethorphan!!!
So, what should we prefer in Bangladesh- honey or cough medicines?
Honey is very cheap here in the UK. A 500 ml jar of pure honey will cost you 2 pounds only (240 Tk; 50 Tk/100ml) whereas a 100 mL dextromethorphan syrup costs more that 4.5 pound (500 Tk approx.). This is just the opposite in Bangladesh. You will get a 100 ml dextromethrorphan syrup with only 20-35 Tk, however, a 500 ml honey (purity cannot be assured) will cost you at least 300 Tk (approx 60Tk/100 ml). So, in terms of price, honey is costlier than cough syrup in our country. It’s really surprising!!
Now, what will you use to treat cough? I think still honey is preferable due to its safety.
Dextromethorphan is not recommended in children under 12 years of old in the UK as the pediatric dose for this drug has not been established properly. It may cause sever side effects in young adults that may lead to death.So, for children honey is the best and safest option. According to NHS, a mix of lemon and honey in hot water is the best to treat cough using home remedies.
But remember that don’t give honey to children less that one year old as there is a risk of botulism!!