Cough Medication: Understanding Your OTC Choices
Ought to I deal with my cough?
More often than not, a cough doesn’t require remedy. A cough from a chilly or the flu (influenza) will often go away by itself. Generally, cough medicines might be helpful in case your cough is holding you awake or interfering along with your daytime actions.
Some varieties of cough shouldn’t be handled with cough medicines as a result of the cough helps to maintain your lungs clear so you’ll be able to breathe. Examples embrace a cough brought on by smoking, emphysema, pneumonia, bronchial asthma, or persistent bronchitis.
Ought to I deal with my little one’s cough?
What varieties of OTC cough medicines can be found?
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are medicines you should buy with out a prescription out of your physician. There are 2 varieties of OTC cough medicines: antitussives and expectorants. A typical antitussive is dextromethorphan (some model names: Triaminic Chilly and Cough, Robitussin Cough, Vicks 44 Cough and Chilly). The one expectorant out there in OTC merchandise is guaifenesin (2 model names: Mucinex, Robitussin Chest Congestion).
How do OTC cough medicines work?
Antitussives are cough suppressants. They relieve your cough by blocking the cough reflex. Expectorants skinny mucus. This may occasionally assist your cough clear the mucus out of your airway. Consuming further fluids additionally helps preserve mucus skinny.
Dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are typically mixed with one another (1 model identify: Robitussin DM). They’re additionally out there together with different medicines, resembling ache relievers, decongestants, or antihistamines. These mixture merchandise (resembling multi-symptom chilly medicines) are supposed to deal with many signs on the identical time. Nonetheless, in case your principal symptom is cough, watch out of the drying impact of antihistamines and decongestants together medicines. This impact could make mucus thicker and more durable to clear from the airways, which may make a cough worse.
How can I safely retailer OTC cough medicines?
Retailer all medicines up and away, out of attain and sight of younger kids. Maintaining medicines in a cool, dry place will assist forestall them from changing into much less efficient earlier than their expiration dates. Don’t retailer medicines in bogs or toilet cupboards, which are sometimes sizzling and humid.
What are some frequent uncomfortable side effects of OTC cough medicines?
Wholesome adults don’t often expertise uncomfortable side effects from OTC cough medicines. However typically these medicines may cause irritability, sleepiness, or dizziness. Negative effects could also be a priority for individuals who have well being issues, are aged, or use cough medicines for lengthy intervals of time.
Can OTC cough medicines trigger issues with every other medicines I take?
Cough drugs is usually mixed with decongestants, antihistamines, and/or ache relievers. For those who take 1 of those mixture medicines, it’s vital to know every of the energetic components and the interactions they could have with different medicines you’re taking.
Ought to I speak to my physician earlier than taking an OTC cough drugs?
Speak to your physician earlier than taking cough drugs if in case you have any of the next signs:
Shortness of breath
Cough that lasts for quite a lot of weeks (referred to as persistent or long-lasting cough)
Wheezing once you cough or breathe. This may occasionally imply you want a prescription drugs to deal with irritation (swelling) and narrowing of your airways.
Additionally, you must cease taking cough drugs and name your physician in case your cough lasts for greater than 2 weeks, or if it retains coming again.