had one of those nasty coughs that just wouldn't go away,
even when your doctor put you on antibiotics? Here's a possible
reason why: A review of nine previous studies found that antibiotics
were no better than placebos at improving cough symptoms.
(A placebo contains no medication, and is given to selected
patients to compare results with other patients who are given
some form of medication.)
According to this study, if 100 people suffering from acute
cough are placed on antibiotics, nine will report an improvement
after 7-11 days, while 84 will not be significantly affected
or improved by antibiotic treatment. The remaining seven will
not show substantial improvement in symptoms, and will experience
side effects from the antibiotic.
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and side effects of
antibiotics and other prescription medications. Zinc lozenges
or other natural nutritional supplements may do a better job
of relieving your cough symptoms than the antibiotics which
are commonly prescribed.
Fahey T. Quantitative systematic review of randomised controlled
trials comparing antibiotic with placebo for acute cough in
adults. British Medical Journal, March 21, 1998, vol.316/no.