Decongestant Expectorant Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD



What is an expectorant?

An expectorant is a type of cough medicine used to help clear mucus (phlegm) from your airway. You may take an expectorant to help relieve congestion if you have a cold or the flu. Expectorants are available as standalone drugs or as an ingredient in an all-in-one cold or flu medication.

What does an expectorant do?

Expectorants are used to treat the symptoms of respiratory tract infections. These types of infections include the common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia. These infections can cause a buildup of mucus in your throat and lungs. You may develop a cough and your chest may hurt due to mucus accumulation. Expectorants help relieve these symptoms.

Expectorants are used to make coughing up mucus easier. They don’t stop the cough as cough suppressants do. At times, you want a productive cough — you don’t want to subdue (suppress) it. This is because coughing is your body’s way of clearing your airway of bacteria and other germs.

How do expectorants work?

Expectorants lubricate your airway. This helps loosen up the mucus and make the secretions in your airway thinner. By loosening up the mucus, expectorants make your cough more productive. This makes it easier for you to cough up mucus effectively and clear your throat.

Coughing up the mucus can help with the discomfort you may feel from chest congestion. In addition, since the mucus may contain infectious debris such as bacteria and viruses, coughing it up lowers your risk of infection.

What are the different types of expectorants?

Expectorants can be classified as medicinal or natural. The main ingredient in medicinal expectorants helps thin the secretions in your airway. By thinning those secretions, it makes your cough more productive. Medicinal expectorants are available over-the-counter in liquid, pill and tablet forms. Medicinal expectorants include:

  • Guaifenesin: Guaifenesin is the most commonly used expectorant. It is the active ingredient in medicines including Mucinex® and Robitussin®. You can find guaifenesin in many common cough, cold and flu medications. In addition, guaifenesin is an active ingredient in over-the-counter decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamines and pain and fever medications. Guaifenesin is currently the only expectorant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Guaifenesin hydrates your mucus in order to reduce its stickiness.
  • Potassium iodide: Potassium iodide is a prescription-strength expectorant. Your healthcare provider may prescribe potassium iodide if you have a chronic lung disease. Chronic lung diseases can produce excessive mucus, which can complicate your disease. These diseases include asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema. Potassium iodide helps loosen mucus and makes it easier to cough.

Natural expectorants are another option if you’re trying to loosen up mucus and relieve chest congestion. Natural expectorants include:

  • Menthol: Menthol is a natural chemical that comes from plants in the mint family. Menthol is a common ingredient in cough drops (throat lozenges) and cough syrups. Menthol gives you a cooling sensation and can sometimes soothe a sore throat. One study determined that menthol may relax your airway muscles. This allows more air to enter your respiratory system to help improve your cough.
  • Ivy leaf extract: Ivy leaf extract is a natural expectorant known for its effects on mucus production. One study said that any medications containing dry ivy extract may be effective at treating coughs.
  • Oral hydration: No matter what kind of expectorant you use, keeping hydrated is important. Drink extra water or make a cup of tea to increase your fluid intake. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as you can.
  • Steam: Inhaling warm, moist air can do wonders for a persistent cough. The steam can help loosen the mucus in your airway. Take a long shower or use a humidifier to get extra moisture into your lungs.
  • Honey: Honey may help loosen up mucus and relieve your cough. You can add honey to a cup of tea or even mix it with warm milk. But don’t give honey to babies younger than 12 months old — they have an increased risk of botulism.

Do I need to worry about any interactions with expectorants?

If you’re taking other medications, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking an expectorant. Expectorants can alter the effects of certain other medications you take. You may have an increased risk of serious side effects as well.

In addition, since expectorants are sometimes combined with other medications, you need to carefully read labels. Certain combination cold and flu medications contain ingredients that may be harmful to you. For instance, some combination medications contain phenylephrine. Phenylephrine can cause high blood pressure and a slow heart rate (bradycardia). Also, phenylephrine may interact with antidepressants and heart medications.

What are the side effects of expectorants?

Expectorants usually don’t cause serious side effects. But the different types of expectorants do have various potential side effects.

Guaifenesin is typically safe to use if taken as directed. Potential side effects of guaifenesin can include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Constipation.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness (fatigue).
  • Rash.
  • Nausea and vomiting (if taken in high doses).

Side effects with potassium iodide are more likely and possibly more severe. The side effects of potassium iodide can include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin rash.
  • Numbness in hands or feet.
  • Swelling or tenderness in your salivary glands.
  • Excess salivation.
  • Sore gums.
  • Brassy, metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Confusion.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness (fatigue).
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

Menthol is usually safe unless you’re allergic to it. If you’re having an allergic reaction to menthol, the possible side effects can include:

  • Hives.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Swelling of your face or throat.

The possible side effects of ivy leaf extract can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hives.
  • Skin rash.

Expectorants combined with other medications, such as all-in-one cold or flu medication, are more likely to cause side effects. These side effects can include:

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Having a cough is no fun. But sometimes it’s important to clear out extra mucus and the bacteria and particles that come with it. That’s where expectorants come in. Taking an expectorant will help thin and clear your airway, creating a more productive cough. In no time, the cough should be gone and you’ll be feeling better. Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider if your cough lingers or you have other concerns. And always read the labels of expectorants for possible interactions or side effects.

FAQs

Do I need an expectorant or decongestant?

A person with a productive cough can take an expectorant, but a dry or tickly cough usually requires a cough suppressant. Many OTC products contain a decongestant, but these are only effective for treating nasal congestion. All-in-one cough, cold, and flu products may contain a combination of these ingredients.

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When should you not use expectorant?

Sometimes expectorants are used to manage congestion associated with chronic respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema. 4 If you have a chronic respiratory condition, you should not use an expectorant unless your healthcare provider recommends it

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What’s the difference between decongestant and expectorant?

The expectorant helps thin and loosen mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. The decongestant helps relieve stuffy nose, sinus, and ear symptoms.

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Can you take a decongestant and expectorant together?

You can take them both together if you have nasal congestion as well as a phlegmy cough.

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Is decongestant good for phlegm?

Certain remedies, such as staying hydrated, using a humidifer, and taking over-the-counter decongestants can all help ease excess phlegm in your throat or chest.

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Is decongestant good for cough?

Decongestants are one potentially helpful choice. While they aren’t designed specifically for cough relief, they may help minimize your symptoms while bringing additional cold-fighting perks. Take a peek at the product ingredients, and you’ll likely see phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine on the list.

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Is it better to cough or hold it in?

Use cough suppressants wisely. Don’t suppress a productive cough too much, unless it is keeping you from getting enough rest. Coughing is useful, because it brings up mucus from the lungs and helps to prevent bacterial infections.

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Which is better cough suppressant or expectorant?

Cough suppressants won’t be helpful, but expectorants can be beneficial. Expectorants will increase the production of mucus and make it more effective. The extra mucus may help clear the infection quicker.

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Does a decongestant help with mucus?

“Decongestants dry up the mucus that collects in the back of the throat as a result of the infection. Expectorants melt the mucus.” Look for over-the-counter decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, such as Sudafed.

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What is the fastest way to get mucus out of your lungs?

Use your stomach muscles to forcefully expel the air. Avoid a hacking cough or merely clearing the throat. A deep cough is less tiring and more effective in clearing mucus out of the lungs. Huff Coughing: Huff coughing, or huffing, is an alternative to deep coughing if you have trouble clearing your mucus.

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What is the best decongestant for mucus?

Expectorants, such as guaifenesin (Mucinex, Robitussin) can thin and loosen mucus so it will clear out of your throat and chest.

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Is coughing up mucus good?

Mucus has an important role in your lung’s immune response because it traps irritants in your airways and helps allow your body to expel them through coughing. This helps protect you from infection.

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Does expectorant clear sinus?

Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It works by thinning and loosening mucus in the airways, clearing congestion, and making breathing easier. Phenylephrine is a decongestant (sympathomimetic). It reduces nasal congestion by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose.

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Does a decongestant thin mucus?

Nasal irrigation and decongestants can help in the treatment of chronic sinusitis by keeping mucus loose and nasal passages clear. The mucus-thinning agent guaifenesin (Mucinex) is another option.

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Does blowing nose make congestion worse?

Blowing your nose could make it more stuffed and make you feel worse when you’re sick. That’s because you’re building up the pressure in your nostrils, which could cause mucus to shoot up into your sinuses, instead of your nose. Watch the video above to see the best way to blow your nose.

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Decongestant Expectorant Oral: Uses, Side Effects … – WebMD

Decongestant Expectorant Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD Warnings: This medication has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. This medication may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication, or if you take the wrong dose or take more of this medication than prescribed. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of this product from your body, which may affect how it works. Be sure you know how to take this product and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication is not recommended. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn’t stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight. Warnings: This medication has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. This medication may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication, or if you take the wrong dose or take more of this medication than prescribed. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of this product from your body, which may affect how it works. Be sure you know how to take this product and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication is not recommended. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take…

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Expectorants: Definition, uses, and side effects

Expectorants: Definition, uses, and side effectsWe include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.Expectorants are medications or natural ingredients that help clear mucus from the airways. People may take them to help alleviate congestion due to the common cold or flu. Expectorants are available as a standalone drug or as an ingredient in all-in-one cold and flu medications. In this article, we discuss the definition and uses of expectorants. We also explore the possible side effects of medicinal expectorants and the effectiveness of natural expectorants. An expectorant is a medication that people can use when they have a cough that produces mucus. Doctors and pharmacists refer to these types of cough as “productive” or “wet.” Expectorants reduce the thickness of mucus and make secretions in the airways thinner. By loosening up the mucus in these ways, expectorants make it easier for a person to cough up phlegm and clear out their throat. Medicinal expectorants contain an active ingredient that will thin the mucus, making the cough more productive. Common medicinal expectorants include:GuaifenesinThe most commonly available expectorant in over-the-counter (OTC) medications is guaifenesin. People can find guaifenesin in the following OTC products:cough, cold, and flu remediesdecongestantscough suppressantspain and fever medicationsGuaifenesin is currently the only expectorant on the market in the United States that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved. Experts do not yet know how guaifenesin prevents coughing. However, some researchers have suggested that guaifenesin reduces the stickiness of mucus by hydrating it, which makes it easier for people to cough up. According to the authors of a 2017 study, researchers consider guaifenesin a safe and effective expectorant for treating mucus-related symptoms in upper respiratory tract infections and stable chronic bronchitis.However, in a 2019 review article, researchers suggest that the current research is weak and state the need for further studies of guaifenesin as an expectorant. Potassium iodidePotassium iodide is an expectorant that is only available via prescription. Doctors prescribe potassium iodide oral solution to people with chronic lung diseases. This drug helps loosen mucus and make it easier to cough up. It does this by increasing respiratory secretions, which are more fluid than phlegm.As OTC expectorants may not always be effective, some people try natural treatments instead. These may include:MentholMenthol is a natural chemical that derives from plants belonging to the mint family. It is a common ingredient in throat lozenges and cough syrups.Menthol provides a cooling sensation that can soothe a sore throat. A 2014 animal study suggests that menthol may relax the airway muscles, allowing more air to enter the respiratory system and helping improve cough and cold symptoms. Further studies in humans are necessary to confirm the action of menthol on cough symptoms. Ivy leaf extractIvy leaf extract is a popular natural remedy for cough and cold symptoms because of its supposed effects on mucus production, cough, and airway dilation.A 2017 Polish study suggested that a medicine containing dry ivy extract may…

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Expectorant: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & Types

Expectorant: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & Types What is an expectorant? An expectorant is a type of cough medicine used to help clear mucus (phlegm) from your airway. You may take an expectorant to help relieve congestion if you have a cold or the flu. Expectorants are available as standalone drugs or as an ingredient in an all-in-one cold or flu medication. What does an expectorant do? Expectorants are used to treat the symptoms of respiratory tract infections. These types of infections include the common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia. These infections can cause a buildup of mucus in your throat and lungs. You may develop a cough and your chest may hurt due to mucus accumulation. Expectorants help relieve these symptoms. Expectorants are used to make coughing up mucus easier. They don’t stop the cough as cough suppressants do. At times, you want a productive cough — you don’t want to subdue (suppress) it. This is because coughing is your body’s way of clearing your airway of bacteria and other germs. How do expectorants work? Expectorants lubricate your airway. This helps loosen up the mucus and make the secretions in your airway thinner. By loosening up the mucus, expectorants make your cough more productive. This makes it easier for you to cough up mucus effectively and clear your throat. Coughing up the mucus can help with the discomfort you may feel from chest congestion. In addition, since the mucus may contain infectious debris such as bacteria and viruses, coughing it up lowers your risk of infection. What are the different types of expectorants? Expectorants can be classified as medicinal or natural. The main ingredient in medicinal expectorants helps thin the secretions in your airway. By thinning those secretions, it makes your cough more productive. Medicinal expectorants are available over-the-counter in liquid, pill and tablet forms. Medicinal expectorants include: Guaifenesin: Guaifenesin is the most commonly used expectorant. It is the active ingredient in medicines including Mucinex® and Robitussin®. You can find guaifenesin in many common cough, cold and flu medications. In addition, guaifenesin is an active ingredient in over-the-counter decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamines and pain and fever medications. Guaifenesin is currently the only expectorant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Guaifenesin hydrates your mucus in order to reduce its stickiness. Potassium iodide: Potassium iodide is a prescription-strength expectorant. Your healthcare provider may prescribe potassium iodide if you have a chronic lung disease. Chronic lung diseases can produce excessive mucus, which can complicate your disease. These diseases include asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema. Potassium iodide helps loosen mucus and makes it easier to cough. Natural expectorants are another option if you’re trying to loosen up mucus and relieve chest congestion. Natural expectorants include: Menthol: Menthol is a natural chemical that comes from plants in the mint family. Menthol is a common ingredient in cough drops (throat lozenges) and cough syrups. Menthol gives you a cooling sensation and can sometimes soothe a sore throat. One study determined that menthol may relax your airway muscles. This allows more air to enter your respiratory system to help improve your cough. Ivy leaf extract: Ivy leaf extract is a natural expectorant known for its effects on mucus production. One study said that any medications containing dry ivy extract may be effective at treating coughs. Oral hydration: No matter what kind of expectorant you use, keeping hydrated is important. Drink extra water or make a cup of tea to increase your fluid intake. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as you can. Steam: Inhaling warm, moist air can do wonders for…

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Sudafed vs. Mucinex: Differences, similarities and which is …

Sudafed vs. Mucinex: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you Sudafed and Mucinex are popular OTC medications that treat various symptoms associated with the common cold Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ Sudafed and Mucinex are two very popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications that treat various symptoms associated with the common cold. What are the main differences between Mucinex vs. Sudafed? Sudafed contains a nasal decongestant called pseudoephedrine (there are also newer formulations containing phenylephrine, with Sudafed-PE as the brand name). Sudafed helps relieve a stuffy nose. Mucinex (Mucinex coupons | Mucinex details) contains an expectorant called guaifenesin. Guaifenesin helps thin and loosen up chest congestion when you have a phlegmy cough. Some formulations of Mucinex also contain other ingredients like dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant. This is indicated by letters after the name—for example, Mucinex contains guaifenesin, while Mucinex-DM contains guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. Although both medications treat common cold symptoms, Sudafed and Mucinex are quite different. It is important to note that there are many products on the shelves with multiple ingredients which include pseudoephedrine or guaifenesin—or both, but we are just focusing on the single-ingredient product of Sudafed vs Mucinex here. While shopping at the pharmacy, the pharmacist can help you figure out which product(s) best suits your needs. Main differences between Mucinex vs. Sudafed Sudafed Mucinex Drug class Nasal decongestant Expectorant (for chest congestion, phlegmy cough)  Brand/generic status Brand and generic  Brand and generic What is the generic name? Pseudoephedrine  Guaifenesin What form(s) does the drug come in? Immediate release and long-acting tablets, children’s liquid Tablets, liquid (children and adults versions available), mini melts for children What is the standard dosage? Adults and children 12 years and older: 30 mg tabs, 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Maximum 8 tablets in 24 hours Adults and children 12 years and older: 120 mg extended-release tabs. 1 tablet every 12 hours as needed  Adults: 600 mg extended-release tablets. 1-2 tablets every 12 hours with a full glass of water How long is the typical treatment? Short-term, as needed for symptom relief Short-term, as needed for symptom relief Who typically uses the medication? Children 4 years of age and older, adults Children 4 years of age and older, adults Want the best price on Mucinex? Sign up for Mucinex price alerts and find out when the price changes! Get price alerts Conditions treated by Sudafed and Mucinex Sudafed (Sudafed coupons | Sudafed details) is a nasal decongestant used to temporarily relieve sinus congestion and pressure. It also temporarily relieves nasal congestion due to the common cold, hay fever, or other upper respiratory allergies.  Mucinex is a chest decongestant, or expectorant, which helps loosen phlegm (mucus). It also helps thin bronchial secretions, helping you to cough up and get rid of mucus (sometimes called a productive cough).   Condition Sudafed Mucinex Temporary relief of sinus congestion & pressure Yes No Temporary relief of nasal congestion due to common cold, hay fever, allergies Yes No Loosens phlegm and thins bronchial secretions No Yes Is Sudafed or Mucinex more effective? Since Sudafed treats nasal congestion, and Mucinex treats chest congestion/productive cough, comparing their efficacy is like comparing apples to oranges, as they are different medications for different indications. However, we can look at each drug’s efficacy. Sudafed has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for nasal congestion. Mucinex has been shown to be safe and effective in treating chest congestion. Both Sudafed and Mucinex can be very effective in their respective treatments; however, when choosing a medication for yourself, it is always best to check with your healthcare provider who has your full medical history and can help you select the most…

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Difference Between Expectorant and Decongestant | Ask Any …

Difference Between Expectorant and Decongestant | Ask Any DifferenceExpectorants can be natural ingredients, too, basically any ingredient that helps clear the mucus from the airway and doesn’t let the breathing obstruct.Decongestants are the medicines used for treating problems with the respiratory system. They are generally used while facing the problem of a stuffy or blocked nose.Comparison Table Between Expectorant and DecongestantParameters of ComparisonExpectorantDecongestantMucus or phlegmExpectorant attacks on the phlegm but not in the nose or throat but that present in the throat.Decongestant helps loosen the mucus and phlegm present in the throat and the nose.DrugMedication of expectorant is derived from the drug named guaifenesin.Drugs used in the medication of a decongestant are- pseudoephedrine or mild phenylephrine.AlternativesSyrup of ipecac has been used for a long in the place of an expectorant.In place of decongestants, exposure to strong spices, onion, or even snorting salt water is used.Side effectsSide effects after taking expectorant can be vomiting, stomach ache, skin rash, nausea, etc.Side effects after taking decongestants can be irritation, dryness, burning sensation around the nose, etc.TreatmentExpectorant reduces the thickness of the mucus, which further makes it thinner for the airways in secretion.Decongestants are used while having congestion.What is Expectorant?Expectorants are sold in the market as a standalone drug and as an ingredient too for all-in-one cold or flu medications. When people have a cough that is producing mucus, expectorants are given to the patient as it gives relief in that area.After loosening the mucus, expectorants makes it easier for the person to secret the phlegm through cough, which clears out the throat.What is Decongestant?Decongestants are used while having congestion in the chest. They are used when having a cold, fever, flu, or any sort of allergies quite commonly.Decongestants are used while having congestion. Congestion can be caused due to several reasons like cold, flu, high fever, sinusitis, and rhinitis.Main Differences Between Expectorant and DecongestantSide effects after taking an expectorant can be vomiting, stomach ache, skin rash, nausea, etc., while side effects after taking a decongestant can be irritation, dryness, burning sensation around the nose, etc.Expectorant reduces the thickness of the mucus, which further makes thinner for the airways in secretion while Decongestants are used while having congestion.ConclusionIt takes us to the conclusion that both the drugs are given while having any respiratory problem. Both of them might have the same packaging and the same system for the treatment, but the methods are totally different two.Decongestants are basically used while having congestion which can be caused due to several reasons. Expectorants, on the other hand, are used while people have a common cold, cough, allergies, or any other common symptoms. References https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1094553907000442https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022347605818657Search for “Ask Any Difference” on Google. Rate this post!

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expectorant/decongestant/narcotic antitussive/acetaminophen …

EXPECTORANT/DECONGESTANT/NARCOTIC ANTITUSSIVE/ACETAMINOPHEN-ORAL side effects, medical uses, and drug interactions. GENERIC NAME: EXPECTORANT/DECONGESTANT/NARCOTIC ANTITUSSIVE/ACETAMINOPHEN-ORAL Warning | Medication Uses | How To Use | Side Effects | Precautions | Drug Interactions | Overdose | Notes | Missed Dose | Storage WARNING: One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. If you have liver problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist for a safe dosage of this medication. Daily use of alcohol, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may increase your risk for liver damage. Avoid alcohol. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, or yellowing eyes/skin. Acetaminophen is an ingredient found in many nonprescription products and in some combination prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Carefully check the labels on all your medicines because they may also contain acetaminophen. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. Get medical help right away if you have taken more than 4000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day, even if you feel well. Products that contain codeine or dihydrocodeine should not be used in children after certain surgeries (including tonsil/adenoid removal). Also, for children younger than 12 years, do not use codeine or dihydrocodeine to treat cough or pain unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some children are more sensitive to codeine or dihydrocodeine and have had very serious (rarely fatal) breathing problems such as slow/shallow breathing (see also Side Effects section). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of this medication. USES: See also Warning section.This combination medication is used to temporarily treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). The expectorant helps thin and loosen mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. The decongestant helps relieve stuffy nose, sinus, and ear symptoms. A narcotic cough suppressant (antitussive) affects a certain part of the brain, reducing the urge to cough. This product also contains acetaminophen, a non-aspirin pain reliever and fever reducer.This medication is not usually used for ongoing coughs from smoking, asthma, other long-term breathing problems (e.g., emphysema), or coughs with a lot of mucus unless directed by your doctor.Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, this product is not recommended to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years. Some products (including some long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Giving more than the recommended dose or using this medication along with other cough-and-cold products has resulted in serious (even fatal) side effects, including slowed/stopped breathing. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist before giving other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask about other ways…

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Cold & Cough Medication Guide – Ask Dr Sears

Cold & Cough Medication GuideMany parents have stood in the medicine aisle at the local drug store staring at the many different options for cold and cough medication. Choosing between cough suppressants, expectorants, antihistamines and decongestants or any possible combination of these can literally give parents a headache. As a pediatrician and a parent, I’ve tried to design a helpful guide to help you sort your way through the many cold medications. Choosing the correct medication is easier if you understand your child’s symptoms and how cold and cough medications work. Here is a quick review.Treat your child’s specific symptoms: If your child simply has a bad cough, but no nasal congestion, then you probably don’t need a multi-symptom cough and cold medication. You only need a cough suppressant.If your child’s cold symptoms are not interfering with his sleep or daily activity, then you probably don’t need to use medication. Often the most effective treatments for colds are “non-medical” such as nasal saline spray, hot steam and simply drinking plenty of fluids. Click to learn about “natural cold treatments”.Four Major Cold Medication IngredientsCough and cold medications come either as one of the following types of medicines, or a combination of two, three or all four ingredients:Nasal decongestant – This will clear nasal passages making it easier to breath through the nose. It also has a mild drying effect so it will also help relieve runny nose a bit. I like to use decongestants during the day because they won’t make your child drowsy. This is important if your child is going to school. Side effects may include excitability, which might interfere with sleep.Anti-histamine – This helps relieve a very itchy, runny nose. It decreases mucous production in the nose. The most likely side effect is drowsiness, which is fine at night, but could interfere with daytime activities.Cough suppressant – This helps with a persistent annoying cough. It acts by suppressing the cough reflex in the throat and lungs so that the mucous or irritation there won’t trigger coughing. There are no likely side effects.Expectorant – This helps when your child has thick chest congestion, which he is unable to cough up. It loosens thick mucous, making it easier to cough up. There are no likely side effects.Warning: All four types of cough and cold medications are NO LONGER APPROVED for kids younger than 4 years of age.Related ArticlesAll bottles of cold and cough meds that have dosing labels for kids under 2 have been taken off the shelves and are no longer available. Manufacturers have also just declared that these meds should not be used in children under 4 years of age as well.The reason for this is two-fold: First, there have been a number of infants and young children harmed by accidental overdoses of these meds when a parent mixed different meds together OR gave too high a dose, this is the reason that the FDA decided to step in and make them no longer available. Second, there has been very little research done on young kids to prove that cold and cough meds are safe and/or effective. Even though they seem to work well and rarely cause any problems when dosed properly, the FDA felt it was prudent to put a hold on their use until further safety and efficacy data become available, and we agree.What can parents do in the meantime when their young kids catch a cold or flu?We suggest you first try effective natural treatments for colds such as nasal saline spray, hot steam and drinking plenty of fluids. Click to learn about more “natural cold treatments”.You may also try a natural alternative called SINUPRET (kids strength). This plant-based pharmaceutical grade natural remedy has been used in…

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