Cough preparations

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  • There is little evidence to support the use of cough suppressants.
  • For persistent cough lasting 4 to 6 weeks establish the underlying cause.
  • For the treatment of cough in palliative care, seek specialist advice.
  • Many cough preparations contain opiates; their use is discouraged because they are a respiratory depressant and can be particularly dangerous in COPD. The same applies to analgesics containing codeine and other opiates.
  • Demulcent cough preparations, such as simple linctus, should not be prescribed.