Dr. Monita Mendiratta discusses whether cough syrups actually work.
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Host: You mentioned coughing and asthma and bronchitis. You go to any drug store there is isles of cough syrups, is there any place, in a young child not an older child, that you see the kid has a coughing attack, you should use these things? Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Unrelated to asthma, coughing is what we are talking about now. I do not recommend using cough syrups. For one thing, cough is actually a crucial defense mechanism, that the body has to prevent foreign bodies or other material such as viruses or various forms of infection from getting deep seated into the lungs. We have cough receptors up and down our airways, that are there to actually serve as protectives for the airways. So if you are coughing to me, it may mean that you are actually doing it because your system is trying to clear itself. Host: So in another words streak the cause, streak the actual sign of cough. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Exactly, exactly. Host: And an older kid I imagine, maybe can't sleep, 16-years-old or something, occasionally might get something in excess -- Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Occasionally in older children where they aren't sleeping at all and then it's effecting their daytime functioning in school. In those cases I will consider using a coughs suppressant. We are talking about non-asthmatic coughing. Host: So in other words, cough syrups are very limited in pediatric usage. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Very limited in their usage, yeah. Host: And in fact the uptake came off recently against using cough syrups to actually pseudoephedrine I think two-and-a-half or three is like you can't use -- because that will attack our --. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: 200, age of two, exactly. Exactly, and it has far more side effects than benefits and hence results in various things as you mentioned. Host: I have this rule, this small side effect to any drug we don't use. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: There is no such thing. Host: That's what I am saying, there is no side effect. So we try to use medicines very, very calculate. If a kid does have asthma you try to get it so well-controlled that lifestyle is equal to any other kid. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Exactly. Host: It's not a handicap -- take whatever you have to, to make your life normal. That make sense? Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Yes, that makes great sense. Host: See, we want to keep our hospitals empty of asthmatics. Dr. Monita Mendiratta: Absolutely that's our goal.