Background: Cough preparations containing aqueous marshmallow root extracts (Althaea officinalis) have a long history as medicinal products in Germany. The aim of the 2 prospective, non-interventional surveys reported here was to create a better documentation of the users' impression of the effectiveness and tolerability, and user satisfaction. Methods: Consumers (n = 822) buying either lozenges or syrup of the aqueous marshmallow root extract STW42 to treat their dry cough were recruited in pharmacies in 2 independently performed surveys. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire covering a treatment duration of 7 days so that the course of symptoms could be documented, and the overall effectiveness, tolerability and satisfaction assessed. Results: This consumer-reported outcome shows that both preparations showed a good effect with respect to the symptomatic treatment of oral or pharyngeal irritation and associated dry cough with a very rapid onset of effects, in the majority of cases within 10 min. The tolerability was very good (with only 3 minor adverse events for the syrup). Conclusion: The results of the surveys justify the long-established use of both marshmallow preparations for symptomatic treatment of dry cough.

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