Placebo better than watchful waiting for cough

A placebo of sugar water is safer than honey and more effective than no treatment for young children’s cough symptoms, research shows.

It suggests that a placebo could help children more than watchful waiting and may reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Since 2009, the TGA has recommended that over-the-counter cough and cold medications be avoided in young children due to their unproven efficacy and potential adverse effects.

Honey is an established alternative treatment for cough but it is not