Does Cough Medicine Really Work?

This week Reactions is taking a look at the science of when you’re sick. Well, the cough syrup chemistry actually. If you reach for the cherry-flavored cough medicine, you’re not alone. Every year, people spend billions of dollars on this stuff. But does any of it actually work? In this episode, we explain the chemistry behind cough medicine, and dig into the evidence to find out which remedies actually work.

Find us on all these places:

Shelley Sandiford

Executive Producer:
Adam Dylewski

Scientific consultants:
Bruce Rubin, Ph.D.
Alison Le
Kyle Nackers

Reviews (Cough Medicine):

Cough treatments:

Coughing (general information):

Cough reflex in animals:

Effects of honey on coughing:

Dextromethorphan poisoning:

Ever wonder why dogs sniff each others’ butts? Or how Adderall works? Or whether it’s OK to pee in the pool? We’ve got you covered: Reactions a web series about the chemistry that surrounds you every day.

Reactions is produced by the American Chemical Society.

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