My skull a steadily expanding hydrocephalic sack of mucus, I’ve been swigging a lot of cough syrup lately. I’ve spent a hundred euros on the stuff over the last couple of days, which — roughly translated into America’s currency, the U.S. Cowboyo — is a hell of a lot of money. You empty your wallet on the counter of the local pharmacist, but even in your feverish daze, you know cough medicines don’t really work: it just makes you feel more proactive about your chances of fighting off your body’s alarmingly rapid decomposition into a jell-o monster made of phlegm.
And it turns out you’re right: over-the-counter cough medicines don’t work. You’re mostly just placeboing yourself up. According to the American College of Chest Physicians (sister organization to the FBI, or Federal Breast Inspectors) most of the active ingredients in cough medicines have no real effect, no matter how they’re mixed. Expectorants don’t work at all and suppressants are hit and miss. If you’re really sick and looking for relief, turns out the best thing is to take antihistamines. Wish I’d known this before I’d blown this week’s beer money on a hundred varieties of syrup that all tasted like cream of chalky cherry menthol ejaculate.
Experts: Skip The Cough Medicine [Consumer Affairs]