Performing our day to day activities we get exposed to a lot of environmental conditions and some of these conditions pose a threat to our health. Like, when we get exposed to high dusty conditions, it affects our tracheal system and gets a common cough. Apart from it, there are several other factors that cause common cough.
Saying so, we also know that coughing constantly is not at all a pleasant experience. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicines, coughing could be easily cured without much hassle. Cough syrups are locally available across the counter for the purpose.
Expert dietician and mentor of Diet Clinic, who is also acclaimed as the best dietician in India have to say that, easily available over the counter drugs like cough syrups are one of the main sources of recreational drug abuse. These syrups can be addictive and dangerous if consumed for recreation and in larger quantities.
She also mentions that it has been seen on many occasions that these drugs are combined with marijuana and alcohol to make it a potential addiction substance.
It is thereby before you start administering these syrups, you should be fully educated and aware of certain things about taking cough syrups:
It serves as a drug of abuse
Among people and mainly teenagers and young adults’ cough syrups are popular drugs of abuse, as it is very addictive and its overdose abuse could lead to fatal consequences. The most common ingredient is mainly almost over the counter cough syrups is dextromethorphan. If consumed in large quantities is causes a drunk like feeling along with the feeling of hallucination and separation from self.
It seriously affects the brain
Many of the OTC cough syrups also contain opioid-like DXM. When consumed in larger quantities it also gives a feeling of hallucination. Repeatedly seeking it for the feeling of hallucination can lead to serious addiction which in turn causes the brain receptors to get suppressed and the brain’s ability to stop telling to use it despite its damaging effects that can lead to even death.
Some of the other harmful effects of using such cough syrups are:
- The feeling of lack of energy
- Poor cognitive capabilities and motor function
- Changes in the vision
- Stammering speech
- Heavy sweating
- Increase in blood pressure levels
High and long term use of this can even cause damage to the liver.
It does not cure the underlying cause
Using cough syrups can do harm than good. It might provide you with immediate relief from cough but actually, in the long run, it is not at all good for the cause. Cough syrups act as a suppressant, that actually blocks the body’s cough reflex and not by curing the underlying cause of the cough. As health symptoms like fever and vomiting are signs to draw attention to an underlying cause, cough is also an indication by the body of something inside, something critical. These syrups work by making you feel drowsy and aid you to sleep but never supports a cure.
It is potentially dangerous for kids
As per best dietitian in Delhi Medicines and syrups for cough and cold could pose serious risk for children. Firstly and as mentioned earlier, these cough syrups are intended to cure the symptoms of cough and not the underlying cause/s. These types of medicines are often termed as inactive medicines in medical terms. Secondly, these syrups have serious side effects, including that of a fatal overdose in children younger than 2 years. Doctors and pediatricians always avoid prescribing these medicines to children less than 12 years of age. Most of these syrups for children contain codeine, a substance banned in many countries for children use.
Can cause sputum retention
Cough syrups work as suppressants that suppress the cough. This is very dangerous for people with problems of bronchitis. Cough is just like any other common body reflex that removes mucus or any other foreign irritant from the throat like allergens, dust, smoke or any other environmental irritant. Continuously suppressing the same with things like cough syrups could lead to serious health consequences in the future.
So, what should we do?
The best way to deal with common cough and cold is home remedies. Things like steam inhalation clear the airways and any mucous accumulation. Steam baths are another way by which you can help the nasal passage to shrink and make breathing easier.
Blockage in the nasal passage can be cleared easily with the help of nasal drops. Drinking some hot tea with lemon or honey can help get relief from fry coughs. In case, you have got a fever or headache due to cough and cold, use paracetamol or ibuprofen to get relief from body aches and pain and drink a lot of water and stay hydrated.
But, in spite of all your efforts, if the cough persists for more than one to two weeks, there could be some more underlying diseases. So, it is always better to get the same diagnosed and consult a physician for advance treatments.