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How to manage persistent cold and cough?

Q: I am currently in the US for business. When I landed here about 12 days ago, I had sore throat and cough. I have not been able to recover from that so far despite taking some medicines for cold. Since I am in a foreign country, I would request you to advise me some OTC medicine that I could take to cure this.

A:Recovery from a cough associated with a cold may take several weeks. A cough suppressant such as codeine or dextromethorphan may help, but larger doses than are customary may be needed, provided they do not cause side effects such as drowsiness or difficulty in concentration. Inhaled steam, if taken carefully, is soothing, and the addition of a Vaporub helps. Asian cough medicines are sometimes very effective, such as the Lo Han Kuo from China, which can be purchased in Chinese stores. A useful prescription drug is Tessalon for stubborn coughs. Antibiotics only help when there is copious abnormal sputum. If a cough persists in intensity or gets worse, a physician might need to carry out further studies such as chest X-ray.


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