Thursday, February 06, 2003

Rethinking phlegm

Sorry, I just liked the headline, which I ripped off from Wednesday's dead tree WSJ. And oh, the Googling potential...

The rethinking? The article said "Most of us in medical school were taught that if a patient coughs up yellow or green phlegm, it's a bacterial infection and should be treated by antibiotics". But recent studies indicate that this isn't proof that an infection is bacterial. So now you know.

Actually the main thrust of the article was a supposed trend away from prescribing drugs for many common conditions. And it said that a recent review in the British Medical Journal concluded that many of the best known cough medicines on the market were no better than a placebo.

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