I have a cough, what medicine should I take?

in StemSocial3 months ago

Every human being from birth has the possibility of getting sick for different reasons, some very well known until now, others not so much, but even when the cause is unknown in many opportunities it does not mean that we will not suffer from it.

But there are some very common diseases that are still being treated at home in a bad way, or even worse, they go to a pharmacy where they receive "guidance" from people who know little about medicines and even less about health. And I get it, you don't necessarily have to be a doctor to work as a salesperson in a pharmacy, that's logical, but recommending a drug to someone who doesn't need it can end up causing them a big problem.

Such is the case of a simple cough, which sometimes ends up being the first symptom of a more complex disease, and if they only pay attention to the guidance of the pharmacy it can become very complicated.

In this publication I intend to give some basic guidelines to keep in mind when you have a cough or a cold, and things to avoid doing in order not to end up with complications.


Pixabay/ Author: Original_Frank

Every human being since birth has the possibility of getting sick for different reasons, some very well known until now, others not so much, but even if the cause is unknown in many opportunities does not mean that we will not suffer from it.

But there are some very common diseases that are still treated at home in a bad way, or even worse, they go to a pharmacy where they receive "guidance" from people who know little about medicines and even less about health. And I get it, you don't necessarily have to be a doctor to work as a salesperson in a pharmacy, that's logical, but recommending a medication to someone who doesn't need it can end up causing them a big problem.

Such is the case of a simple cough, which sometimes ends up being the first symptom of a more complex disease, and if they only pay attention to the guidance of the pharmacy it can become very complicated.

In this publication I intend to give some basic guidelines to keep in mind when you have a cough or cold, and things to avoid doing in order not to end up with complications.



Pixabay/ Author: sweetlouise

A viral infection does not require antibiotic treatment, this is something I have explained in other publications. Viruses are self-limiting, that is to say, they have the tendency to fulfill a specific cycle, which is usually between 7 and 10 days, after which the disease it produces has a tendency to disappear. And in no less than 90-94% of the cases of respiratory infections are the result of a viral infection. And the rest will require an antibiotic because the causal agent will be bacterial.

Now, cough or common cold have some symptoms in common, so the treatment is usually quite similar, basically it is symptomatic, because you can not "cure" a cold, this is a reaction of the body, but it is not a disease, and cough is also usually an expression of this.

The medications that are usually used for cough are varied, and sometimes more than one at a time can be used. And they are largely intended to reduce the appearance of cough, which usually occurs mostly at night, which causes great discomfort, starting with the fact that the sufferer cannot fall asleep, resulting in the person not being able to rest properly.



Pixabay/ Author: stevepb

What medications are usually recommended?

  • Antitussive syrup: these are intended to limit the cough in one way or another. Either by numbing the irritated area in the throat or by acting directly on the cough nerve center, which is the part of the brain in charge of generating the cough reflex.
  • Antiallergic agents:Cough is also produced to a great extent when the organism generates a local inflammation in some part of the throat, and the cough is produced. This local inflammation is generated by the immune system attacking whatever is in a particular space. The antiallergic decreases all this response, which can decrease the cough.

  • Nasal drops: nasal drops are sometimes considered, when there is nasal obstruction due to the presence of secretions, which helps a lot with the sensation of well-being.

We can also make use of some of these types of medications at the same time, enhancing their effect. However, not all coughs can be used interchangeably. You have to know when to do it, and this is where most fail and end up complicating instead of improving, but why is that?



Pixabay/ Author: ThorstenF

It is important to know that when a person presents a dry cough, it is generally due to an allergic condition, a local inflammation in some part of the respiratory tract that produces this reflex, in these cases antibiotics are not warranted, rather the indicated is antiallergic and antitussive.

But when the cough is presented with expectoration, it is necessary to pay attention to the color of this, if it is transparent, most likely it is a viral infection, so using in addition to the above mentioned is good, adding the use of some antipyretic medication, such as acetaminophen, which will prevent or reduce fever and malaise.

But if instead the expectoration is green, most likely we will be in the presence of a viral infection, so it is not recommended any type of syrup to prevent cough, rather an expectorant is indicated to help eliminate the mucus that is formed. And additionally an antibiotic is recommended, depending on age, weight, allergies, among other points to consider.

It is here where I generally see the flaw, that a medication can be indicated to avoid coughing, and at the same time expectoration, which causes all the secretion that is formed to remain internally, and with the passage of time can even end up in pneumonia and more complicated infections.



Pixabay/ Author: MDFrescuerYouTube

Another common mistake is to prescribe steroids. And this could help when it is certain that the respiratory condition is due to allergy, but when it is viral or bacterial, it can rather harm the person who is administered.

To indicate a treatment it is necessary to consider many aspects, here in Colombia it is very common that people omit to go to the doctor and prefer to go to the pharmacy so that the seller prescribes them. Then if they get complicated is that they go to a hospital center, this is a serious mistake.

I just wanted to share some necessary points to know when you have the flu, without the intention of replacing the visit to the doctor if it is your case, but rather that you know that when some conditions are present in you know that a medicine can help you, but if it is not well indicated it can rather be the opposite.


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The high rate of poverty in so many regions is the most important reason why people go for local medicine and over-the-counter drugs, although the danger that these drugs pose are very serious and I really wish everyone will be financially free enough to afford medical treatment whenever one is needed.

You are quite right about that. Ideally, governments should be able to support their citizens more and better with better medical care. But this seems to be a great utopia.

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Thank you

Good to know, coincidentally, some people around here have a cough.

Cough is very common disease. I hope this post can serve as guidance.