One of the essential aspects of symptoms management that students learn during pharmacy practice classes is to ask patients if cough there are experiencing is ‘dry/tickly’ or ‘chesty’ and based on presenting symptoms appropriate product is recommended. Bronchostop Cough Syrup seems to break this rule as it is marketed for both types of coughs.
What is Bronchostop Cough Syrup used for?
As taken from the product description, Bronchostop is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of coughs, including chesty coughs and dry, tickly, irritating coughs and catarrh. Bronchostop is based on traditional use only.
What is traditional herbal medicine?
In order to market a product as herbal medicine in the UK, one needs to apply for traditional herbal registration (THR). THR license is only given to products that are used minor health conditions, where medical supervision is nor required, and no claims are made as to treat major health conditions (Gov UK, 2016).
Bronchostop’s registration is based on purely on ‘the longstanding use of thyme herb and marshmallow root‘ as traditional herbal medicines’ and not on data gathered from clinical trials. Under THR rules, there is no need to prove that a product works (MHRA, n.d.).
Bronchostop Cough Syrup: review of the main ingredients?
Bronchostop Cough Syrup contains the following main ingredients:
- Thyme herb (Thymus vulgaris L.and Thymus zygis , herb)
- Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis )
Although there is insufficient information obtained from a clinical trial on the use and effectiveness of thyme in the treatment of productive coughs, there is evidence that thyme have been used safely for this purpose for at least 30 years (EMA, 2016).
Preparations containing marshmallow can be used to treat irritation of the mouth or throat and associated dry cough. Studies supporting the use of marshmallow in treatment of dry coughs are of poor quality; therefore, the use of marshmallow root medicines are based on their longstanding use (ibid).
Bronchostop Cough Syrup review: Conclusion
Most cough resolve without any treatment within three weeks.
There is no evidence supporting the use of Bronchostop to relieve coughs. In fact, there is little evidence for or against the effectiveness of any OTC medication in the treatment of coughs (Cochrane, 2014). Nevertheless, as with many other cough syrups, the soothing benefit of Bronchostop syrup may come from properties of the syrup itself, rather than from the ingredients which are present in the formulation (Eccles & Mallefet, 2017).
Cochane (2014). Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults in community settings. Available at: https://www.cochrane.org/CD001831/ARI_over-the-counter-otc-medications-for-acute-cough-in-children-and-adults-in-community-settings Accessed on 26/02/2019
Eccles Ronald, Pascal Mallefet (2017). Soothing Properties of Glycerol in Cough Syrups for Acute Cough Due to Common Cold. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fpharmacy5010004 Accessed on 06/12/2019
EMA (2016). Thymi herba. Available at: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/thymi-herba Accessed on 26/02/2019
Gov UK (2016). Apply for a traditional herbal registration (THR). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-traditional-herbal-registration-thr Accessed on 26/02/2019
MHRA (n.d.). Buttercup Bronchostop cough syrup. THR 16467/0001. Available at: http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/par/documents/websiteresources/con775407.pdf Accessed on 26/02/2019