Honey and its processed drugs become the first line of treatment for people with cough. These suggestions are recommendations for new guidelines.
The use of honey as a cough medicine is a new recommendation from the National Institute for British Health and Excellence Care (NICE) and UK Public Health (PHE). Honey is recommended as an aim to reduce antibiotic use. This type of medication must be reduced in a doctor’s prescription for coughing.
Antibiotics in many cases do not significantly improve the symptoms of coughing. Precisely with frequent consumption of antibiotics the problem of antibiotic resistance can arise. Excessive use of antibiotics makes infection more difficult to treat, by creating a drug-resistant superbug.
“Antibiotic resistance is a big problem, and we need to take action now to reduce antibiotic use,” said deputy director at PHE Dr Susan Hopkins, quoted from the BBC on Thursday (8/23).
Cough will actually get better by itself without medication. Within two to three weeks the cough will subside.
Simply by drinking hot drinks with a mixture of honey, can also be accompanied by lemon and ginger to relieve coughing, It is a well-known home remedy for coughs and sore throats.
Cough medicines containing pelargonium, guaifenesin or dextromethorphan may also be useful. Patients are advised to use this treatment and wait for symptoms to get better on their own, before going to the doctor.
Most coughs are caused by viruses, which cannot be treated with antibiotics and will disappear on their own. However, previous studies have found 48 percent of doctors in the UK have prescribed antibiotics for coughing or bronchitis.
“This new guideline will support doctors to reduce antibiotic prescriptions and we encourage patients to take their doctor’s advice about self-care,” Hopkins said.
But the new guidelines recommend antibiotics may be needed for coughing when coughing is part of a more serious disease. When a person is at risk of developing further complications, such as those who have a chronic health condition or a weak immune system, antibiotics are needed.
Honey is not recommended for children under the age of one year because it sometimes contains bacteria that can cause botulism in infants. Chair of the group’s antimicrobial prescription guidelines Dr. Tessa Lewis said, one can check symptoms and ask for pharmacist advice.
“If the cough gets worse than better, or the person feels very unwell or short of breath, then they need to contact their doctor,” Lewis said.