What Are the Different Types of Cough Remedies?

Christina Edwards

When suffering from an annoying cough, there are several types of cough remedies that may offer some relief. Some of the most popular remedies are over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, like cough syrups. For more persistent or serious coughs, a prescription cough remedy may be necessary. Some individuals may also prefer home cough remedies.

There are several remedies that may offer relief to someone with a cough.
There are several remedies that may offer relief to someone with a cough.

Cough remedies usually bring to mind over-the-counter medicines, which are often combined with cold medicine. Cough syrups are probably the most common cough remedy. These can be purchased in large chain stores and pharmacies. Depending on the underlying cause of a cough, one of a couple types of cough syrups may be appropriate.

Daytime cough medicine won't make the user drowsy.
Daytime cough medicine won't make the user drowsy.

Cough suppressants are one type of cough medicine. A common active ingredient in these types of cough remedies is dextromethorphan, which works by suppressing the body's natural cough reflex. This is best for a dry cough, or a cough that does not produce mucus or phlegm, since it stops a person from coughing. If a person who has a wet cough takes this, it could result in a build up of mucus in the lungs.

Cough suppressant lozenges that include honey or menthol can help suppress a sore throat.
Cough suppressant lozenges that include honey or menthol can help suppress a sore throat.

The best type of over-the-counter cough remedies for people with wet coughs, or coughs that produce mucus or phlegm, are expectorants. Often, the active ingredient in these types of cough medicines is guaifenesin. This works by making the mucus in the lungs thinner, making it easier to cough up, or expel, from the lungs.

Lemon and honey in tea may help soothe a bad cough.
Lemon and honey in tea may help soothe a bad cough.

Cough drops and lozenges are other forms of OTC cough remedies. These are similar to hard candy, but many times they will contain natural ingredients, like menthol, which help soothe an irritated throat. These are best for dry coughs, since they help lubricate the throat to prevent irritation.

Cough syrups are the most common cough remedy.
Cough syrups are the most common cough remedy.

A very severe cough or chronic cough may need something stronger than an OTC cough medicine. In this case, a prescription medication is usually necessary. Prescription cough remedies often contain the same ingredients as OTC medicines, but in much stronger doses.

Day and night cough medicines are also available. Daytime cough medicines will usually not make a person drowsy. Nighttime medicines, on the other hand, may contain a narcotic, which can help a person with a cough fall asleep easier.

For those who prefer natural cough remedies, there are several. Mixing either lemon or vinegar with honey, for example, is one of the most popular home remedies for a cough. Adding lemon or honey to tea is another popular way to cure a cough.

Phlegm that is coughed up should be spit out, not swallowed.
Phlegm that is coughed up should be spit out, not swallowed.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: