Cough-Medicine For Treatment,Warning.
Cough is the body’s method of clearing the air tubes that go to the lungs and preventing germs and mucus in these tubes from getting into the lungs.
Because cough is part of the body’s defense, medicines that stop or calm cough sometimes do more harm than good. These cough calmers or cough suppressants should be used only for irritating, dry coughs that do not let you sleep.
Coughing is not a sickness in itself, but it is a sign of many different sicknesses that affect the throat, lungs or bronchi (the network of air tubes going into the lungs).
SOME PROBLEMS THAT CAUSE DIFFERENT KINDS OF COUGHS
Dry cough with little or no phlegm :
- Cold or flu.
- Worms (when passing through the lungs).
- Smoker’s cough.
Cough with phlegm :
- Smoker’s cough.
- Happens especially when getting up in the morning.
Cough with a wheeze or whoop and trouble breathing :
- Whooping cough.
- Heart trouble.
- Happens when something is stuck in the throat.
Chronic or persistent cough :
- Smoker’s cough or miner’s cough.
- Asthma (repeated attacks).
- Chronic bronchitis.
- AIDS (if for more than 1 month).
Coughing up blood :
- Pneumonia (yellow, green or blood-streaked phlegm).
- Severe worm infections.
Coughing is the body’s way of cleaning the breathing system and getting rid of phlegm (mucus with pus) and germs in the throat or lungs. So when a cough produces phlegm, do not take medicine to stop the cough but rather do something to help loosen and bring up the phlegm.
TREATMENT FOR COUGH
- To loosen mucus and ease any kind of cough, drink a lot of water. This works better than any medicine.
Also breath hot water vapors. Sit on a chair with a bucket of very hot water at your feet or on a small table beside you. Place a sheet over your head and cover the bucket to catch the vapors as they rise.
Breath the vapors deeply for 15 minutes. Repeat several times a day. Some people like to add mint or eucalyptus leaves or vick, but hot water works just as well alone.
- For all kinds of cough, especially a dry cough, the following cough syrup can be given : Mix honey, lemon juice and gin or rum. Take a teaspoonful every 2 or 3 hours in a glass of hot water. For little children and people who have difficulty in breathing, leave out the alcohol.
- For a severe dry cough that does not let you sleep, you can take a syrup with codeine. Tablets of aspirin with codeine (or even aspirin alone) also help. If there is a lot of phlegm or wheezing, do not use codeine. If the cough does not clear within a week, then asthma may be the cause, even if wheezing has not been noticed.
- For a cough with wheezing (difficult, noisy breathing), check for the treatment of asthma, chronic bronchitis and heart trouble.
- Try to find out what sickness is causing the cough and treat that. If the cough lasts for a long time, if there is blood, pus, or small phlegm in it, or if the person is losing weight or has continual difficulty breathing, see a medical health worker.
- If you have any kind of cough, do not smoke. Smoking damages the lungs.
NOTE : To prevent a cough, do not smoke. To cure a cough, treat the illness that causes it and do not smoke. To calm a cough and loosen phlegm, drink lots of water and do not smoke.
HOW TO DRAIN MUCUS FROM THE LUNGS (POSTURAL DRAINAGE)
When a person who has a bad cough is very old or weak and cannot get rid of the sticky mucus or phlegm in his or her chest, it will help if he or she drinks a lot of water and also do the following :
- First, have him or her breathe hot water vapors to loosen the mucus.
- Then have him or her lie partly on the bed, with his or her head or chest hanging over the edge of the bed. Pound him or her lightly on the back for 10 minutes, several times a day if necessary. This will help to bring out the mucus.
There are other medicines called cough helpers or expectorants that are supposed to make it easier to cough up the mucus.
The both kinds of cough syrups (cough calmers and cough helpers) are used far more than they need to be. Most popular cough syrups do little or no good and are a waste of money.
The best and most important cough medicine is water. Drinking a lot of water and breathing hot water vapors loosen mucus and help calm cough far better than most cough syrups.
COUGH-CALMERS (SUPPRESANTS) : CODEINE
This medicine often comes in cough syrups or liquid. It also comes in tablets of 30 mg or 60 mg, with or without aspirin or acetaminophen (paracetamol).
Codeine is a strong painkiller and also one of the most powerful cough calmers, but because it is habit-forming (narcotic), it may be hard to get. It often comes in cough syrup combinations or in tablets form.
For dosage, follow the instructions that comes with the preparation. Less is needed to calm cough than to control pain. To calm cough in adults, 7 to 15 mg of codeine is usually enough.
Children should be given less according to age or weight
- Children between 8 to 13 years : 30 kilos (66 ibs)- 1/2 half dose
- Children between 4 to 7 years old : 15 kilos (33 ibs)- 1/4 dose
- Children between 1 to 3 years old : 8 kilos (17.6 ibs)- 1/8 dose
- Give a child under 1 year old the dose for a child of 1 year, but ask for medical advice when possible : 5 kilos (11 ibs)
For severe pain
Adults can 30 to 60 mg of codeine every four hours.
WARNING : Codeine is habit-forming (narcotic). Only use for a few days.