New Cough Guidelines Suggest Avoidance of OTC Remedies

In addition, adults up to 65 should receive new vaccine to avoid pertussis

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) released new recommendations this week for the diagnosis and management of cough, including recommendations to use pertussis vaccines in adults up to age 65 and to avoid using over-the-counter (OTC) cough remedies in adults and children. The guidelines will be published as a supplement to the January issue of CHEST.

About 28% of pertussis cases occur in adults. Since most adults were vaccinated as children and older vaccines only provide protection for up to 10 years, the guidelines recommend that adults under 65 receive a new adult pertussis vaccine.

OTC cough suppressants and expectorants do not treat the underlying reasons for cough, according to the ACP. They recommend that adults with acute cough or upper airway cough syndrome (postnasal drip syndrome) receive an older variety antihistamine plus decongestant. The ACCP recommends that OTC cough medications not be used in children under 14 unless the cough is related to specific factors such as a chronic lung condition.

The guidelines provide over 200 recommendations for chronic cough (coughs lasting more than eight weeks), subacute chronic cough (coughs lasting three to eight weeks), and acute cough (coughs lasting less than three weeks).

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