Cough syrups are available over the counter and on prescription as well. When there are various types of cough syrups available in the market, you should want to know the right type of medication to overcome your condition. Over-the-counter medications are helpful to get relief from the upper respiratory tract issues. It is also called the common cold. If you are not suffering from a non-serious cough, OTC medications are helpful. If you have prolonged or chronic cough history you should get medication as per the advice of your physician.
Types of Cough Syrups
Cough suppressants – To overcome a dry and irritating cough, you can take cough suppressants. If you are unable to sleep all through the night due to a dry cough, cough suppressants are great means to overcome the issue. Cough suppressants are also called as antitussives. The urge to cough will be decreased by taking cough suppressants.
Expectorants – If there is the production of mucus along with a cough, it is called as a wet cough. When it is difficult to expel the phlegm, you will want to go for expectorant. The mucus loosening will be done very easily with the help of expectorants. As the mucus production will increase by taking expectorant, the bacteria will decrease.
Antihistamines – If there are allergic symptoms along with common cold, antihistamines are administered by the doctor to overcome the condition. Minor throat irritation can be treated with antihistamines. The main ingredient of antihistamine is Diphenhydramine.
Decongestants – The swollen nasal tissue can be dealt by using decongestants. It will also help in reducing the mucus production. The mucus present in airways will be dried up and there will be a great comfort to breathe. Liquid decongestants are made with phenylephrine as the main ingredient. As decongestants will increase the blood pressure, they should be taken cautiously as per the advice of the doctor. Decongestants should not be used for more than 2 or 3 days.
Antihistamine plus decongestant – There will be great irritation if the mucus drips through the nostril into the throat. Hence, antihistamine plus decongestant will be prescribed for patients suffering from a cough that drips through the nostril. The downside of antihistamine and decongestant is that they will lead to anxiety.
Should You Visit the Doctor?
If you are suffering from an irritating cough, you should consult your doctor. The doctor will examine and prescribe the most appropriate drug to overcome cough. You are advised to visit the clinic if there is a severe cough which lasts for more than three days. The doctor will fix it by identifying the underlying cause.
Symptoms of Cough
- Dry cough
- Wet cough
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
Symptoms of Asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
- Tightness in the chest region
- Whistling or wheezing noise in children
Suffering from Asthma?
You can suffer from cough due to common cold, throat irritation or post nasal drip. Asthmatics have cough as a prominent symptom. The constriction in the lung muscles will lead to the reduction of air flow to lungs.
The amount of air flow to the lungs can be enhanced by taking nebulizer or inhaler. Levolin can be used to treat as well as prevent asthma. It is also used to deal with the lung disease, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Medications which contain dextromethorphan (DM), is a common element used in the preparation of cough suppressants and it will give great relief from cough.
How to Use Cough Syrup?
- If you are using the OTC product, you should go through the instructions printed on the label before taking the medication.
- If you have any queries, you can ask the pharmacist.
- If you are using the prescribed medicine, you should use it as per the direction of your doctor.
- You should use the measuring cup provided with the bottle so that you can consume exact amount of syrup without fail.
- You can take the cough syrup by mouth with or without food.
- You are advised to drink plenty of water so that the mucus will become thin and there will be great improvement in the symptoms.
- Take sufficient rest as the body’s natural defense system will fight over the disease-causing elements and there will be quick recovery when you take good rest.
Are there Natural Alternatives?
There are natural remedies which can be tried at home so that there will be quick relief from cold and cough.
- Hot drinks – As you take hot tea with honey, you can deal with the sore throat in a very efficient manner.
- Menthol cough drop – A menthol cough drop can be used to decrease the cough reflex.
- Steamy showers – By taking steamy showers, there will be direct impact on secretions. A cough that originates due to cold and allergy can be overcome by taking steamy showers.
- Usage of humidifiers – By using humidifiers, there will be great control over the humidity. If the air is dry, it will be difficult to secrete through the nose. By adding moisture to the air with the help of humidifier, you can ease the cough. However, over humidification is dangerous and it should be done cautiously.
The following home remedies can be used to deal with cough:
- Honey – Useful to overcome sore throat
- Probiotics – Helps in controlling the cough indirectly by balancing the gastrointestinal flora
- Bromelain – Present in pineapple stem and fruit will be helpful in controlling the mucus
- Mint – Soothens the throat and it will work like a decongestant
- Salt – By gargling with the salt water, you can have control on the infection.
Access to clean and airy surroundings will help you overcome and prevent cough. You can try home remedies to deal with cough. There are plenty of OTC medications which can be used cautiously to get quick relief from cough. For persisting cough, you will want to consult your physician.