Do OTC remedies relieve cough in acute URIs?
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Dextromethorphan (DM) for adults and honey for children provide some relief. DM may modestly decrease cough in adults compared with placebo (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, systematic review of inconsistent or limited evidence). The data supporting zinc for the common cold are mixed (SOR: B, meta-analysis with inconsistent results). Antihistamines, antihistamine-decongestant combinations, and guaifenesin don't provide greater relief than placebo in adults (SOR: B, systematic review of inconsistent or limited evidence).
Journal of Family Practice, 58(10) 2009: 559a-559c.