Cough is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. However, some researchers have warned against using certain suppressants because they may be unsafe.
A paper published in Nature suggests that a component of over-the-counter cough suppressants called dextromethorphan can increase replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The finding is part of a project to identify existing drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19 and its symptoms.
However, there are many types of cough medicine, the broad categories being suppressants, the type examined above and expectorants. This research focused specifically on drugs with dextromethorphan, which acts as a suppressant.
The study did not show that the drug would make COVID-1
"According to the same standard, we find that the widely used antitussive dextromethorphan has proviral activity and therefore, its use in connection with COVID-19 deserves caution and further investigation," they write.
Dextromethorphan works by reducing activity in the part of your brain that causes cough.
To relieve cough without relying on this ingredient, use an expectorant that contains guaifenesin, which dilutes the mucus to make it easier to cough.
People with COVID-19 usually have a dry cough, which means they don't spit out phlegm. Dry cough is also caused by pollen, animal hair, smoke, and pollution. There are other ways to treat coughing fits if you prefer to avoid medication. A tablespoon of honey in a warm drink alleviates the evening cough, according to WebMD . Gargling with salt water, which is usually recommended for a sore throat, can help improve the symptoms of coughing, according to Healthline . Simply dissolve a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water.