Beware; Your Cough Syrup may be dangerous!

During winter months, people buy over-the-counter cough syrups to subside their dry cough. But medical experts say, some of these cough syrups cause more harm than good.

A large number of these over-the-counter cough syrups contain codeine, which is an addictive opioid. As per a study 100ml of codeine-containing cough syrup (CCS) is equivalent to a 30 mg tablet of morphine. This is the reason why some intoxicant addicts drink up a full bottle of cough syrups to get a cheap kick.

Such cough syrups are already banned in Sweden, Latvia, Sri Lanka, and Maldives.

Chemically codeine is derived from opium and converts into morphine in our liver. So, it has addictive properties like that of heroin, which is also derived from opium.

Codeine directly affects the cough center in the brain stem, thereby suppressing the signals that trigger the cough reflex. But it does not remove the real cause of the cough.

There are around 100 different brands of codeine-laced cough syrups in the Indian market. Phensedyl and Corex are some of the famous brands. Codeine-containing cough syrup causes dizziness, slurred speech, auditory hallucinations, hot or cold flashes, increased heart rate, distorted visual perceptions, and high BP.

A committee set up by the health ministry had recommended a ban on certain codeine-based cough syrups. But drug manufacturers opposed the move. According to the Indian Drug Manufacturer Association (IDMA) this ban can cause a loss of Rs 300 crore worth of revenue for the government.

Misuse of these codeine-laden cough syrups is also high in Odisha. in January 2020, around 5,920 bottles of such cough syrup were seized by the police in the Bolangir district of Odisha.


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