FIT WebQoof: Can Drinking Cough Syrup With Milk Kill You?
The mixture could cause many problems, but it is not poisonous.
The mixture could cause many problems, but it is not poisonous.(Photo: iStockphoto/altered by FIT)

FIT WebQoof: Can Drinking Cough Syrup With Milk Kill You?

The Claim

A viral message says that a mother ‘accidentally killed her children’ after she fed them cough syrup mixed in milk, because the mixture is poisonous.

True or False?

Speaking to FIT, Dr Ankit Prasad, consultant pediatric at Fortis hospital said, “There are many types of cough syrups and these should all be avoided with thick liquids like milk, shakes, smoothies. This gives the person gastritis. But NO, it is not poisonous.”

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Mixing milk and cough syrup to make the syrup go down easily in a child is not toxic, but it does cause other problems, especially for young children.

This combination will flush out the cough syrup’s medicinal properties as it will go down straight to the stomach — bypassing the throat, where it is supposed to act. It needs time inside the throat to act on the throat flora.
Dr Ankit Prasad

He adds, “This is especially true when giving the medicine to children — who will typically have a cough reflex or vomit if they have cough syrup and milk.”

It could cause ‘post-tussive vomitting’, which is seen in people with severe coughs.

What About Thin Liquids?

Dr Prasad advises that cough syrup should be taken with one or two sips of water or juice — anything thin.

Another precaution is to take it one hour after or before eating. Also avoid having greasy, spicy, or citrus food when you have a cough.
Dr Ankit Prasad

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