A comparison between the herbal medicine Ascof and the synthetic cough cure Solmux Â– two popular cough remedy the Philippines. Is Ascof better than Solmux?
In the Philippines, most cough remedies are considered as OTC or Over-The- Counter medications. Customers usually choose a product based on drug popularity. The more they see or hear about it from the media, the more they feel secure in purchasing the product for their loved ones or for themselves.
Ascof and Solmux are two common cough cures. While Ascof is known as a herbal remedy, Solmux as a carbocisteine is also notorious for being in the market for 50 years as a mucoregulator in respiratory diseases since the 1960s. Both claim efficacy and safety, but which of the two is really better?
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Manufactured by Pascual/ Altermed, Ascof (Lagundi) is from a herbal source. It is indicated for bronchospasm in acute bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and other bronco pulmonary disorder.
Contraindication: No known contraindication.
Precaution: Pregnancy and lactation.
Side-effect: Itchiness, nausea and vomiting, tachycardia, diarrhea, drowsiness and body malaise.
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Solmux (Carbocisteine) is a derivative of cysteine which is an amino acid. It is manufactured by Westmont/ Unilab Consumer Health and its primary use is to reduce the viscosity of pulmonary secretions in patients. It is for wet productive coughs, to help eliminate phlegm.
Contraindication: Peptic ulcer.
Side-effect: GI disturbance, GI bleeding, headache, skin rash.
Ascof and Solmux comparison
Ascof and Solmux have different formulations. Ascof is available in 300mg tablet, 600mg caplet and in 300mg syrup drug form. It contains powdered Lagundi leaves (Vitex negundo linne family Verbenaceae). Ascof is for mild to moderate cough usually associated with common colds.
Solmux is available in 500mg capsule and in suspension forms. It has a mucolytic property. It is more beneficial in eliminating excessive mucous in the lungs.
Solmux in its encapsulated form has faster effect than Ascof tablet. Capsule forms of medications have greater dissolution compared to tablets thus they have faster relief. On the other hand, syrup has faster effect than suspension types. This means, Ascof syrup has a much faster effect than Solmux suspension.
Ascof reveals some mild side effects on few patients like itchiness, vomiting etc. These adverse reactions as they claim were reported without prevailing complaint with similar frequency on the placebo control. Solmux’s adverse effect involves gastric upsets. This drug is also used in precaution with old people with severe respiratory insufficiency or asthmatic patients.
Ascof VS Solmux
Considering the formulation, Ascof is more attractive for most consumers because of its herbal origin. As for relief, liquid forms of medication have faster action and both Solmux and Lagundi have these dosage forms. Although, in terms of solid preparations, Solmux capsule is better than Ascof tablet.
Regarding safety, Ascof has no known contraindications and has mild adverse reactions that are reported rarely. However like most drugs, it is used in precaution with pregnant women and in lactation. Solmux on the other hand, causes stomach upsets, thus strictly contraindicated to people with peptic ulcer. More to this, it is also to be used in precaution with old people with weak lungs or asthmatic patients.
So which is better?
Summing it up, Ascof may have all the advantages over Solmux. But, these drugs possess dissimilar modes of action. Solmux is a mucolytic while Ascof is a simple cough formula with an anti-asthma effect. Ascof won’t be effective enough if the cough will be involving too much phlegm in the lungs. On the contrary, Solmux will not be also suitable for a simple cough with asthma involved.
Wilson and Gisvold’s Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry 9th edition