Are there any agents that have been proven effective in alleviating cough associated with infections?
Imran Satia: There are no studies that I am aware of that have studied in a randomized controlled manner the effect of reducing coughing in acute infections.
The most commonly used over-the-counter cough medicines, which have annual sales in the US of 7 billion dollars, contain dextromethorphan. That is the most commonly used active substance in these syrups; the evidence for that is somewhat debatable and controversial but at the moment that is the most commonly used active substance. There have been no other recent studies looking at or investigating any new treatments in acute cough that I know of.