Take cold-cough medicine carefully, because… it has a bad effect on the brain

By Divya Ray July 22, 2023 2:52 PM IST

India Today In March, WHO alerted health care professionals and regulatory authorities about the risk of anaphylactic reactions in people who used the drug pholcodin at least 12 months before procedures involving the administration of general anesthesia with neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs). A special committee called the Subject Expert Committee (Antimicrobial and Antiviral) reviewed the evidence against the use of pholcodine and made recommendations for health professionals, doctors, and consumers.

According to the advisory, doctors and health professionals have been asked to advise patients to stop taking medicines containing pholcodine for the treatment of cough and cold. And asked to pay attention to their symptoms. To verify whether patients taking general anesthetics containing neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) have taken a medicine containing pholcodine for the treatment of cough and cold in the last 12 months and also be aware of anaphylactic reactions in such patients. Dr. Saurabh Khanna, Pediatrician, CK Birla Hospital said that Pholcodin is a prophylactic drug.

Pholcodine belongs to a group of antitussive medicines which suppress cough. So, in other words, it is a cough suppressant which is an opioid derivative. It works by suppressing the cough center in the brain," Dr. Saurabh Khanna said. According to medical expert, it is used in most of the cough syrups available over the counter. 

Disclaimer: Before following the methods, methods and suggestions mentioned in this article, do consult a doctor or a related expert.

Read also: Does homeopathy medicine really contain alcohol? If you take medicine for fever, it works… does it make you intoxicated!