Drug Safety Update
For persistent cough, the underlying cause should be established and addressed before prescribing cough suppressants. Where there is no identifiable cause, cough suppressants may be useful e.g. if sleep is disturbed.
Cough suppressants may cause sputum retention and this may be harmful in patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis.
Codeine may be effective but it is constipating and can cause dependence. Simple linctus is a demulcent and has a soothing action.
Pholcodine and pholcodine containing products have been withdrawn from the UK market and recalled. Please see the MHRA Drug Safety Update above.