What is Prospan®?
Prospan® is a herbal medicine with ejection-promoting, bronchial relaxing and bronchodilator effects, which is used as a support for respiratory diseases such as coughing with mucusy sputum. It is produced by the pharmaceutical company Engelhard Arzneimittel. The drug is made from dried ivy leaf extract and is sold in various dosage forms such as cough syrup, cough liquid, cough lozenges, cough effervescent tablets and cough drops over the counter in pharmacies.
The cough syrup contains e.g. in 100 ml 0.7 g dry extract from ivy leaves (5-7.5:1). Prospan® is used in the supportive treatment of chronic inflammatory bronchial diseases such as chronic bronchitis or COPD. In the case of acute inflammation of the respiratory tract with coughing and mucilaginous sputum, an attempt can be made to treat it alone with the dry ivy extract.
No ivy leaves should be consumed and never eat the berries of the ivy plant! These contain the poisonous heatherine. With a dry ivy extract from the pharmacy you get a safe medicine, which at the same time guarantees the application in the correct dosage.
Mode of action
Ivy (lat. Hedera helix), like any herbal medicinal product, contains a number of substances that have an effect on the organism that is difficult to manage. The main active ingredients in the ivy dry extract are on the one hand the triterpene saponins (Hederasaponins B to I).
In addition, polyacetylenes, caffeic acid derivatives and flavonoids are active ingredients, which themselves all have a wide range of effects. Therefore the effect of ivy dry extract can only be explained by the interaction of the different ingredients. In general, the effect of Prospan® can be described as antispasmodic, expectorant and antibacterial.
Specifically, the saponins contained in the extract act on the vagus nerve when taken in the stomach. This mediates the expulsion of mucus from the airways. The beneficial effect of these substances has been demonstrated in several high-quality studies (randomized and double-blind) in chronic obstructive bronchitis.
Prospan® must not be used if there is an allergy to the active ingredient or to one of the other ingredients. The drug should not be used in pregnant and nursing women if possible. There are no sufficient studies available in this respect.
There are no indications of any impairment of fitness to drive. In principle, after consultation with a physician, Prospan® cough syrup can be given to infants from the first day of life. It contains neither alcohol nor sugar. After the first year of life, it is safe to take. If the symptoms persist, breathing difficulties occur or purulent or bloody sputum is produced, a doctor should be consulted immediately.