Antitussives in the test: the best cough remedies according to ÖKO-TEST

Even after surviving the flu or Covid disease, there is one symptom that will stay with you for a long time: a persistent cough. In addition to the usual home remedies (drinking a lot, sucking on candy or chewing gum, inhaling steam, getting fresh air and moderate exercise), over-the-counter cough medicines from pharmacies promise a cure.

For the 10/2018 edition, ÖKO-TEST has 24 frequently purchased, cough medicine without a prescription tested, including nine stimulus buffers and 15 expectorants. When evaluating, it is important, among other things, whether the cough medicine is packaged in an environmentally friendly manner and whether it contains critical additives, such as alcohol. The main focus of the evaluation was the evidence of efficacy and the package insert.
Most cough medicines only score “good enough” or worse on the ÖKO-TEST. But at least three expectorants and a cough suppressant can be labeled “very good”. We briefly outline these cough medicines in the table below. If you’re looking for more cough suppressant information or general advice and information, you should check out our in-depth buying advice.

Important: Do not self-medicate, especially if you have a persistent cough, but contact a doctor and have the possible causes clarified.

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