How to stop a cough? Most OTC remedies do not work. Try antihistamines, Manukah honey, dark chocolate, elderberry syrup, and beet juice.
Most coughs brought on by a cold or the flu go away within days. You don’t need to do a thing. But if yours has lasted longer, you might want to learn about some of the little-known secrets of how to stop a cough.
The first secret: there’s scant evidence for standard over-the-counter treatments for cough or colds. That applies to dextromethorphan (DXM), which you’ll find in NyQuil, Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, Delsym, and Dimetapp DM. The same is true of the expectorant guaifenesin, the key ingredient in Mucinex, Robitussin, Tussin, and Guaifenesin LA.
Coughs are typically caused by post-nasal drip, so anything that makes your nose less runny may help. You might think that antihistamines — Loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) — are only effective to fight allergic reactions. Actually, blocking histamine, which triggers mucus, can be helpful even if you don’t have an allergy. The well-regarded Cochrane Group has found that antihistamines can help a bit in the first day or two of a cold in adults, but not children.
March 20, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN