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Codeine No Better Than a Placebo

Here's another reason that medicine you're taking may not be getting rid of your cough: Codeine, like dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine, is no better than a placebo, according to a new study.

Scientists measured the effect of codeine against a placebo by using citric acid to trigger coughing in 24 British patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were monitored while asleep and awake for 10 hours.

The difference between being treated with codeine (6.4 seconds per hour) versus a placebo (7.2 seconds per hour) was, at best, negligible. (Interestingly, theobromine, a cocoa derivative, may be a more natural and effective treatment for coughs.)

Just a reminder, persistent coughing is a wakeup call your immune system is probably impaired, but that doesn't call for a drug to strengthen it, if you follow my effective, drug-free protocol.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol. 117, No. 4, April 2006: 831-835

BBC News July 8, 2006

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