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Why it is better to leave cough syrup!

  1. Do you have a coughing toddler in the house, or do you have an unpleasant tickle in your throat? Chances are that you immediately reach for the cough syrup in the bathroom cabinet! Sweet thyme syrups and lozenges are considered the best aid for coughs and colds in most Dutch households.

  1. Still, cough syrup is not at all as effective as is often thought - and in certain circumstances it can even be downright unhealthy. Why is it better to throw that syrup in the trash, and what do you do with a persistent cough? We figured it out for you.

Cough suppressants

  1. There are several types of anti-cough remedies, and cough suppressants are one of the most commonly used. They suppress the cough reflex, which, for example, helps you get rid of that unpleasant, scraping feeling in your throat. Unfortunately, it does not work as well as the packaging usually makes it, because the effect of most cough suppressants has not been proven or not sufficiently proven.

  1. In addition, they can cause problems when you have a productive cough, ie when mucus comes up with the cough. Suppressing the cough then ensures that mucus continues to accumulate in the airways, which greatly impedes healing.


  1. Another type of cough syrup is the expectorant. These types of remedies are said to make the mucus in the throat more fluid, making it easier to loosen and dissolve. Unfortunately, the efficacy has not been proven here either, and when expectorants are combined with cough suppressants, they can even be dangerous. For that reason it is certainly not recommended to use expectorants.

  1. The only exception, of course, is when a doctor prescribes the drug, but due to doubts about its effectiveness, this generally won't happen much.

Cough syrup with codeine

  1. Is there no cough syrup that really works? Yes - but the question is whether you prefer to take that drug. These types of syrups usually contain anesthetic substances such as codeine, which ensure that the cough reflex is suppressed. The bad thing about codeine, however, is that it acts on the respiratory center, causing problems with breathing.

  1. Because of these health drawbacks, codeine is only available by prescription, and will only be prescribed when absolutely necessary. In such a case, do not take more than the prescribed dose and do not give the medicine to others!

Risk groups

  1. In many cases, cough syrups are mostly useless, but not necessarily dangerous. However, there are a number of risk groups where the remedies can cause serious damage. First of all, we strongly advise against giving children cough syrups: most syrups are prohibited for children under two, and can cause side effects or even be life-threatening for at least six years.

  1. Elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid cough syrups. Finally, it is important for diabetics to realize that most thyme syrups and lozenges contain significant amounts of sugar, making them dangerous in large doses.

Make your own cough syrup

  1. What do you do when you have a strong cough that just won't go away? It turns out that some natural home-garden-and-kitchen remedies are a lot more effective than real cough syrups â € “and you run much less risk of nasty and unwanted side effects with these remedies. For example, it has been scientifically proven that a spoonful of honey is often much better against ticklish cough than a lozenge.

  1. Other options include licorice root tea, lung herb tea, thyme and star anise, or homemade thyme syrup. And sometimes unfortunately it is true that getting sick really is the only option to get rid of a cough: after all, time is the best medicine!

  2. Other options include licorice root tea, lungwort tea, thyme and star anise, or homemade thyme syrup. And sometimes unfortunately it is true that getting sick really is the only option to get rid of a cough: after all, time is the best medicine!

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