Honey and over-the-counter guaifenesin or dextromethorphan have some remedies should be a patient’s first evidence of benefit for the relief of cough choice to treat a cough, not antibiotics.
New draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Public Health England, aimed at cutting the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, says that in most cases acute cough is caused by a cold or flu virus or bronchitis, and is a self-limiting condition that lasts around three weeks.
Clinicians are advised in most cases not to offer antibiotics as they make little difference to a person’s symptoms.
People are only advised to see their GP if their cough is getting worse rather than better or they feel very unwell or breathless.
Cough medicines containing pelargonium, symptoms, says the draft guidance. Honey should not be given to infants under 12 months because of the risk of botulism.
Limited evidence suggests that antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines containing the antitussive codeine do not help cough symptoms. There is no evidence for the effectiveness of cough medicines containing pholcodine or simple linctus.
Clear information about the most appropriate choice of antibiotic and duration of the course are outlined in the new guideline.
The consultation for the acute cough guideline closes on 20 September 2018.