What the drug does:
Suppresses the body's cough reflex. This is only recommended for times when you can't sleep or your cough is causing pain. Combination cough expectorant-suppressants are not recommended.
Codeine, available by prescription, is effective but has powerful sedative effects. Dextromethorphan is the synthetic over-the-counter relative—minus the sedating and often constipating side effects.
Who should avoid:
Pregnant or nursing women; anyone with a wet cough or a cough due to asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or smoking; those using MAOIs. Do not mix codeine with alcohol or tranquilizers or take when driving.
Grow your life! Get an exclusive look at Oprah's new farm, uncover 28 fresh ideas for happier living, and learn Bob Greene's top secret to eating smarter. Plus, find out how you can win a trip to Hawaii to have lunch with Oprah!