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Doctor insights on: Expectorant Vs Suppressant

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What is better at night — cough suppressant or expectorant?

What is better at night — cough suppressant or expectorant?

Depends...: The cough etiology needs to be diagnosed so that it can be treated. Neither an expectorant nor suppressant treats the underlying etiology and both can be harmful in certain situations. So, you need to be evaluated by your doctor to determine the etiology of your cough and to render appropriate therapy. If you smoke, you need to quit to decrease airway inflammation, a contributing factor. ...Read more

Dr. Steven Griggs
113 doctors shared insights

Expectorant (Definition)

Expectorants are a kind of common ...Read more


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What are the differences between a cough suppressant and an expectorant?

What are the differences between a cough suppressant and an expectorant?

Stops vs thins: An expectorant is a medicine that thins out mucous, making it easier to mobilize and get out. Usually you'll see Guaifenesin as the active ingredient. A cough suppressant stops the body from wanting to cough. This can be ok at night, since you're not supposed to cough anyways, but not a good idea during the day, so mucous keeps moving. Of course, neither is ok for children until at least 4 to 6 y. ...Read more

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When taking a cough suppressant should you always take an expectorant? I've seen & been told mixed answers. Thanks

When taking a cough suppressant should you always take an expectorant? I've seen & been told mixed answers. Thanks

No!: An expectorant helps loosen the mucus and make it less sticky so you can cough it out more readily. On the other hand, a cough suppressant suppresses your lungs ability to cough and get rid of the mucus! You may ask yourself why package them together in the same pill or liquid? That's due to our Republican Congress not wanting to interfere with the greatest medical system in the world. ...Read more

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How can a nighttime cough medication be both a cough suppressant and an expectorant?

How can a nighttime cough medication be both a cough suppressant and an expectorant?

In the lungs nothing: Between the lungs (in the "mediastinum") there is a proliferation of scar tissue that can lead to coonstriction of the large central vessels and airways leading into the lung. The cause is often blamed on a fungal infection, but in some people the cause is unknown. ...Read more

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What is the best cough expectorant? I don't want a cough suppressant because I want to get the mucous out.

What is the best cough expectorant? I don't want a cough suppressant because I want to get the mucous out.

Water: Drink clear fuids---such as water, apple juice, pear juice or white grape juice. These fluids will thin mucus. Milk, orange juice etc will thicken mucus. Showers will help to thin mucus also--2 or 3 a day till better. Saline nasal spray or saline sinus lavage will also help. Feel better. ...Read more

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Why don't more cold meds include an expectorant? It seems like cough suppressants would just prolong things by keeping mucus inside.

Why don't more cold meds include an expectorant? It seems like cough suppressants would just prolong things by keeping mucus inside.

You are right: That is why it is best not to use most otc cold and cough remedies, especially those that have every ingredient that can be put onto it. ...Read more

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Minor cough itchy throat started last week after I took expectorant/cough suppressant combination medicine to loosen mucus. Did the medicine cause it?

Minor cough itchy throat started last week after I took expectorant/cough suppressant combination medicine to loosen mucus. Did the medicine cause it?

Doubt it.: You took the med because you began to have symptoms and thus the worsening is a progression of whatever started your coughing in the first place. If the duration is over 2 weeks or the problem is worsening, see your family doc. ...Read more

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What is the best OTC expectorant?

Healthtap doctors: Are asked not to endorse specific brands or product lines. ...Read more

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How long after I take it before an expectorant begins to work?

How long after I take it before an expectorant begins to work?

Expectorant: An expectorant should start to work within an hour, but the effects are going to be subtle. Add saline nasal spray for better effect in loosening mucus. ...Read more

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Taken separately do an expectorant and a suppresant do well for a cold?

Taken separately do an expectorant and a suppresant do well for a cold?

Perhaps: Expectorants help to loosen mucous and let you cough it up easier. Supressants help with the annoyance of coughing. Coughing is good unless you cough to the point of vomiting or not being able to rest or sleep. Both seem to been of help but most colds stop on their own with plenty of rest and fluids. Humidification helps as well. ...Read more

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Does an expectorant promotes coughing?

Does an expectorant promotes coughing?

Yes: Over the counter expectorants like guanefisin are thought to work by causing irritation in the stomach causing stimulation of secretions in the lungs and stimulates cough. The respiratory secretions become less thick and easier to expectorate. A patient with persistent secretions and cough would benefit from evaluation as there are medications which are more effective than expectorants. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are cough expectorants slow to work?

Minimally effective: Most products that are recommended for breaking up mucus, also call expectorants, are minimally effective in generally. If the dose is too high, there are GI upset side effects. If the dose is too low, they are well tolerated, but no better than placebo. ...Read more

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Are there any chemicals proven to reduce mucus production? No expectorants please. There must be something that "temporarily" stops it.

Mucus secretions: Mucus secretions can be minimized by taking drying agents like antihistamines with or without decongestants like sudafed. This would be the opposite effect of expectorants or mucolytic agents like mucinex or expectorant like guaifenesin. ...Read more

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Do over-the-counter cough expectorants really work?

Do over-the-counter cough expectorants really work?

Expectorants: Yes, they work, but don't expect miracles. They can help during a cold, but they do not completely get rid of the cough. They usually just make the coughing less severe. Feel better! ...Read more

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What's the difference between decongestant and expectorant?

What's the difference between decongestant and expectorant?

Definitions: A decongestant prevents fluid from accumulating in a cavity of the body, as a paranasal sinus. An expectorant make sputum more liquid in order to allow you to cough it out. ...Read more

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Have a hacking cough. Do I take an expectorant or suppresant?

Depends....: If you have a cough due to an infection, as in acute bronchitis, then an expectorant would be recommended so you could cough out the infected sputum. If there is no infection present, like an allergy related cough, then a suppressant may be helpful. If you are unsure, see your doctor so it can be determined whether there is infection present. ...Read more

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Is expectorant harmful for a diabetic patient? Any answer appreciated.

Is expectorant harmful for a diabetic patient? Any answer appreciated.

No: One of the most common expectorants is guaifenesin, which thins mucus and is commonly found in cough medicine.

Expectorant cough medicine may contain other ingredients that are bad for diabetic patients, like sugar or alcohol. Look for products made specially for diabetic patients. ...Read more

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What to do if I have a reproductive cough, and I want to take an expectorant. I have a few questions?

What to do if I have a reproductive cough, and I want to take an expectorant. I have a few questions?

Ask: Please submit clear & specific questions about this. 1 question per entry is best. Clarify and re-ask. ...Read more

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What do you suggest if I have a reproductive cough, and I want to take an expectorant. What do you suggest if I have a few questions?

What do you suggest if I have a reproductive cough, and I want to take an expectorant. What do you suggest if I have a few questions?

Advise you see a doc: At this point, far into a cough, you should see a doctor. Unable to make any kind of diagnosis here but need to take the next step. ...Read more

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Can I use rhinathiol expectorant and actifed tablet?

Yes: Without an actual examination, I cannot give specific medical advice on your particular health, like reasons not to take one of those meds.
But they are generally used together and are generally quite safe. ...Read more

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Can an expectorant cause jitteriness or hyperactivity?

Can an expectorant cause jitteriness or hyperactivity?

OTC meds don't: Really treat anything well, and have many side effects in children as you have discovered. ...Read more

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Should expectorant cough syrup be taken with or without water?

Should expectorant cough syrup be taken with or without water?

Cough syrup +/-water: It is best to stay hydrated when taking an expectorant cough medication. I do not recommend cough medication to my patients. I do however prescribe guaifenesin-containing medications. When I do, I ask that they take the medication with a glass of water.
Ask your pharmacist about the best way to take the specific medication prescribed for you. ...Read more

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I'm pregnant 8weeks i having cough can I take bena expectorant?

I'm pregnant 8weeks i having cough can I take bena expectorant?

Call: If possible, best to not take anything. But for any mediacation, you should consult with your doctor. ...Read more

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If sob is caused by mucus can. Cough syrup expectorant solve the prob?

Possibly: Anyone with thickened secretions can be aided by a mucus thinner like Mucinex (guaifenesin) and drinking plenty of water. If you have heart failure however you shouldn't overload your body with water. ...Read more

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Is it okay to prescribe for productive cough both expectorant and antitusive?

Is it okay to prescribe for productive cough both expectorant and antitusive?

Yes: The expectorants are not real effective but in general are safe and well tolerated. There is no problem using antitussives with expectorants and they are frequently found together in various Robitussin (guaifenesin) products. ...Read more