Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chemical Cough Drugs Side Effects

Chemical cough drops have been around us for most of our lives whenever we get coughs; we are always give cough medicines to cure our conditions. But now health organizations have expressed alarm over the potential hazardous side effects of over the counter (OTC) chemical cough medications to one’s health, including the development of hypertension, irregular heartbeat and confusion. Most OTC cough medicines contain a mixture of decongestant, antihistamine, pain reliever, cough suppressants or a combination of these drugs. This combination is meant to treat as many symptoms at once but all of them have potential side effects.

Some cough medicines may also cause irregular heartbeat, chest pain; ringing in the ears, heart pounding and breathing difficulty. Children are known to experience nightmares, unusual excitement, nervousness or irritability when given cough medicines. Cough medicines are either suppressants, meaning they suppress the body’s urge to cough, or expectorate which loosens the mucus or phlegm in the lungs.

One of the popular ingredients of suppressants is codeine, a narcotic derived from opium. It is known to induce physical and mental dependence. Codeine affects the central nervous system and is an effective cough suppressant. Common side effects also include drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, confusion and addiction. Since most coughs are not serious and most will disappear from two to three weeks, it is better to take plenty of fluids, rest and the use of natural or herbal cure for a healthier body constitution.



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