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Health Tip: Taking Cough Medicine?

-- An over-the-counter cough medicine may offer some relief for a simple cough or cold, but cough medicine probably won't alleviate symptoms of more serious conditions.

Here are warning signs that your cough requires a call to your doctor, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • A "productive cough," characterized by coughing up phlegm or mucus.
  • A wheezing sound when you cough or breathe.
  • A persistent cough caused by smoking, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
  • A cough that has lasted for longer than a week.
  • A cough accompanied by a fever, rash, or persistent headache.
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Posted: March 2008