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Cough Medicines 'No More Effective Than Placebos'

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    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2002
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      COUGH MEDICINES 'NO MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PLACEBOS'
      Ananova
      Thursday, June 13, 2002

      http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_606692.html?menu=news.scienceanddiscove
      ry

      Parents who buy their children over-the-counter cough medicines are wasting
      their money, according to research.

      A review by Knut Schroeder and Tom Fahey of Bristol University says they are
      no more effective than placebos.

      In a handful of cases, not only did the medicine fail to help the cough but
      it also produced side-effects including drowsiness, diarrhoea and
      hyperactivity.

      The trials involved 400 children, reports the Times.

      However cough medicine manufacturers deny the claims and say their own
      findings show more than 90% of consumers are pleased with the effectiveness
      of cough mixtures.

      Parents in Britain spend more than £300 million a year on cough cures for
      their children.

      Dr Schroeder and Dr Fahey said: "Although cough medicines are generally well
      tolerated, their use may lead to unnecessary expenses for healthcare
      customers."

      Both the doctors did the research because they are practising GPs, as well
      as Medical Research Council training fellows, and wanted to know the answer
      to their patients' queries.

      They published a similar review of controlled trials of adult patients with
      the same results.

      ------------

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