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Studying The Effectiveness Of Cough Syrups

Giving your child an over-the-counter cough syrup may not be any more effective than giving them nothing at all, say researchers according to a new study.//

Researchers studied 100 children with upper respiratory infections. Thirty-three of the children received dextromethorphan -- a common ingredient found in over-the-counter cough medicines. Another 33 children received diphenhydramine -- an antihistamine. The remaining 34 children were given a placebo.

Results of the study show all three groups of children reported dramatic improvements after taking the syrups. Researchers say the cough syrup ingredients were not superior to placebo in improving nighttime cough or sleep. It was found that children who received a placebo reported a 2.24-point improvement in their child’s symptoms, while children who received the real medications only reported a 1.97-point improvement.

Thus researchers say that their study questions whether over-the-counter medications have a place in the treatment of these illnesses for children.

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