London: People spend billions of pounds in a year on popular over-the-counter medicines like cough syrups, flu tablets, slimming pills and many others, but experts have revealed that they do not work as well as they claim to do.Brands such as Benylin, Covonia, Seven Seas and Bach are part of an over-the-counter healthcare industry with sales worth more than 3billion pounds a year.But an assessment by consumer campaigners Which? and a panel of medical experts has questioned what health benefits they have.The manufacturer of Benylin Chesty Coughs Non-Drowsy claims it ‘works deep down to loosen phlegm, clear bronchial congestion, and make your cough more productive’.But the Which? experts said the company provided no evidence of effectiveness.The product’s key active ingredient is guaifenesin, but the experts said the studies that are used to support the claims of its effectiveness are low quality.Benylin Tickly Coughs is said to have ‘soothing effects’ and ‘relieves tickly, dry coughs’. The active ingredients of the mixture are sugar alcohol (glycerol) and liquid sugar (sucrose). It also includes other sugars such as black treacle.
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