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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between An Expectorant And A Cough Suppressant

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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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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,448 doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive. A productive cough is one ...Read more


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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

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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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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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When should we use cough expectorant or antitussive?

When should we use cough expectorant or antitussive?

Two conditions: Are cold or bronchitis. There are 3 types of cough medicines: topical, suppressant and expectorants. Unfortunately there is no a quick fix to treat the cough. Do not use these agents for cough that occurs with smoking, asthma or chronic pulmonary condition. ...Read more

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1 week dry cough, with sometimes (once or twice a day) brown phlegm. Should i buy an expectorant or antitussive?

1 week dry cough, with sometimes (once or twice a day) brown phlegm. Should i buy an expectorant or antitussive?

Cough: Do you have fever or chills? Any chest pain? You might need to get a cxr to exclude the possibility of having pneumonia since the treatment will be of antibiotics. It is possible also that you have allergic symptoms or even asthma. I would rather give a treatment of the cause of the cough than the cough itself. ...Read more

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Whatis the different between expectorant, mucolytic and antitussive?

Whatis the different between expectorant, mucolytic and antitussive?

Lets see?: Expectorants and mucolytics tend to loosen up thick mucous and allow you to expectorate (spit up and out). Anti-tussives help to suppress coughs. Cough is good to get inflammation and infections out of the bronchial tubes. If annoying, then antitussives may help to get some sleep. Drink lots of water, use a humidifier and rest. Stay at home. ...Read more

Dr. Sewa Legha
88 doctors shared insights

Cough Suppressant (Definition)

Cough suppressants are a kind of antihistamine type drug and common cold or symptom drug (common ...Read more


Antitussive (Definition)

This is a medicine that is supposed ...Read more