No good evidence for effectiveness of over-the-counter medications for acute cough

Clinical question: 
How effective are over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults in ambulatory settings?
Bottom line: 
There is no good evidence for or against the effectiveness of OTC medications in acute cough.
Caveat: 
The results of this review have to be interpreted with caution due to differences in study characteristics and quality, making evaluation of overall efficacy difficult. Studies often showed conflicting results with uncertainty regarding clinical relevance.
Context: 
Acute cough is a common and troublesome symptom in people who suffer from acute upper respiratory tract infection. Many people self-medicate with OTC cough preparations, and some health practitioners often recommend their use for initial treatment of cough.
Review CD#: 
CD001831
PEARLS No: 
66
Date: 
February, 2008
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy