The flu and cough season is upon us. While flu can be managed using simple home remedies, it is more difficult to get rid of cough. Cough can be dry and irritating (no secretions) or wet (with sputum).
To treat dry cough, there are several medications on the market that a person can use. For example, medicines such as Benylin, Actifed and Rhinathiol are crucial in managing cough. These medicines cost between Shs12,000 and Shs30,000 a dose. In the case of Actifed, you can buy either tablets or syrup. Benylin and Rhinathiol on the other hand, can be in form of syrup for both children and adults.
Most of these formulations are made-up of a combination of drugs, which contain anti-histamines that are responsible for the irritation associated with cough. The most common anti-histamines in this case are diphenhydramine and tripolidine.
They also contain decongestants and codeine, which work by reducing formation of mucus and suppress the cough reflex, respectively.
These drugs can also act as painkillers, as a person is likely to experience pain in the throat when they have irritating cough. However, these medicines are not recommended for cough that is associated with asthma, because they cause drowsiness and people taking them are aised against taking alcohol. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also cautioned against using these cough medications.
Also, known as productive cough, it can be treated using medicines such as Benylin, Actifed, Rhinathiol, Ascoril and Brozedex. The prices of these medicines range between Shs4,000 and Shs30,000 per dose.
They contain what is known as beta agonists such as salbutamol, which serve to relax the bronchial muscles. Another benefit of these medications is that they have anti-histamines and decongestants that offer relief against an itchy and irritating throat. These medicines can be taken with an antibiotic. However, it is up to the doctor or pharmacist to prescribe it.
The writer is a pharmacist
SOURCE: Daily Monitor