Do OTC remedies relieve cough in acute URIs?

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Abstract

EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWER

Honey and diphenhydramine improve ratings of cough frequency compared with baseline by 2.0 and 1.7 points, respectively, on a 7-point Likert scale in children (SOR: B, meta-analysis of small RCTs). Dextromethorphan provides decrease in cough frequency and cough ratings in adults, but no changes in cough frequency for children (SOR: A, meta-analyses). Sesame seed oil is not effective for cough symptoms in children (SOR: B, RCT).

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