Expectorants for dry coughing for adults

expectorants dry cough

With a dry cough, prescribing a therapeutic agent is based on the nature of the cough, the diagnosis, the overall clinical picture and the patient’s characteristics. The occurrence of dry cough may be due to irritation of the respiratory tract and organs, as well as increased coughing reflex. Therefore, the medicine can be an antitussive effect, suppressing reflexes, softening, reducing irritation of the mucous membrane of the pharynx, expectorant, facilitating the withdrawal of sputum, and mucolytic, to thin the mucus.

Dry cough: causes of symptom

The most common occurrence of dry cough as a symptom of the initial stage of respiratory diseases of the bacterial, viral etiology (acute respiratory viral infections, acute respiratory infections, influenza, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, acute and chronic pharyngitis, etc.). Non-communicable causes include allergies, pharyngitis and laryngitis of non-infectious etiology, bronchial spasms, irritation of the mucous membrane with toxic substances, mechanical damage to the inner surface of the pharynx, as well as irritation of the cough center, for example, whooping cough.
Some medications can provoke the development of attacks of dry cough with prolonged use or increased individual sensitivity (Caproptil, Enap, Enam and analogues, Lisinopril).

What is better to take medicine with a dry cough?

When determining the required group of drugs, specialists are guided by the type and productivity of cough:

  • dry cough that occurs on the background of increased irritation of the corresponding center of the brain, characterized by unproductiveness, lack of sputum in the respiratory organs, agonizing spasms and frequency, requires therapy with antitussive or combined drugs;
  • when dry coughing against the background of inflammatory processes in the bronchi, lungs, accompanied by the production of thick and viscous sputum, prescribed mucolytic drugs that promote the dilution of mucus and facilitate its withdrawal;
  • A productive cough that is closer in performance to a wet than to a dry one, with a reduced viscosity of sputum, should be treated with expectorant drugs.

When choosing a cough medicine, you need to remember that antitussives cannot be used in combination with mucolytics.

Dry cough: how to choose medicines

What helps with dry cough? First, in order to choose an effective remedy, it is necessary to determine the cause of the symptom.

Cough suppressant medicines are used by adults and children only for medical purposes, with a strong, dry, unproductive and exhausting cough. Otherwise, there is a high probability of excessive accumulation of sputum in the respiratory organs, which greatly increases the likelihood of bacterial complications and respiratory failure.

With a dry, unproductive cough that accompanies an acute respiratory viral infection, acute respiratory infections, first of all, it is necessary to take medications and carry out procedures that promote the beginning of sputum discharge, then select mucolytics or expectorants.

Combination drugs are recognized as the most effective for dry, unproductive coughs, which simultaneously have the property of reducing the frequency of coughs and clearing the respiratory organs of sputum.


Inexpensive and effective drug is produced in various forms: tablet, syrup, drops (Codelac Fito). Active ingredients: codeine and extracts of plant origin (thermopsis, thyme, licorice) for expectorant effect. Since codeine is an addictive substance, it is strictly prescribed by a doctor.

Herbion syrup with plantain extract

Comprehensive herbal medicine, composed of mallow extract and plantain. It acts as a combination of antitussive, expectorant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs. Contraindicated in case of individual allergic reaction to herbal ingredients, fructose intolerance, requires caution in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.


For adults it is available in tablet form, for children – in liquid form (drops and syrup). A strong and effective drug that has a suppressive effect on the cough center of the brain, which has a moderate anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory effect. It is prescribed for severe dry cough of various etiologies.

There are limitations and contraindications, among side effects often occur: diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, allergies.


Stoptussin is available in tablet and liquid form (drops). The drug of combined action, which suppresses cough and reduces the viscosity of sputum due to the components of the composition: guaifenesin and butamirata citrate. Recommended for adults and children from 1 year old, used as directed by a doctor.


The drug is presented in three forms: syrup, elixir, lozenges. The composition depends on the form of release, based on medicinal plants (thyme, primrose).
Bronchikum reduces inflammation, facilitates the process of expectoration and works as a bronchodilator. It can be used for both dry and wet cough. The drug helps to dilute and withdraw sputum, reducing the severity of inflammatory processes.

It must be remembered that some of the popular cough medicines contain substances that affect the nervous system, and therefore can be used strictly as prescribed by a doctor and require a prescription for purchase. Therefore, before you think about whether you should take a medicine or what is better to give the child, you need to visit a doctor to determine the cause of the cough and determine the group of drugs necessary to eliminate it. The best and effective remedies are not an expensive medicine that helps your friends or eliminate a cough during a previous cold, but a drug that will optimally cope with the symptoms of the disease will not harm your health, and you need to be examined by a specialist for his choice.

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