Doctors should recommend honey and over-the-counter remedies as first-line treatment for a cough, not antibiotics, according to a new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE).
Generally speaking, acute coughs are the result of a cold, flu virus or bronchitis, and usually last around three weeks.
‘If someone has a runny nose, sore throat and cough we would expect the cough to settle over 2-3 weeks and antibiotics are not needed,’ says Dr Tessa Lewis, GP and chair of the NICE antimicrobial prescribing guideline group.
‘People can check their symptoms on NHS choices or NHS Direct Wales or ask their pharmacist for advice.’
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