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Lost for choice

May 1, 2022   Return

There are so many cough mixtures out there that it can be hard to choose the right one. Well, there are literally tens if not hundreds of different brands of cough mixtures with varied functions! And, it is confusing as you are not sure which works effectively, on you at least. It is especially important when it comes to relieving yourself of the annoying coughs, just so that you can get on with your daily routine peacefully. So, how to choose?

About cough

Why do we cough in the first place? A cough is meant to PROTECT you. It is your body’s way of reacting to foreign substances such as inhaled dirt or food by expelling it. Besides that, there are other triggers such as:

  • Cold and flu viruses
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Irritants such as cold air, cigarette smoke, and perfumes

But, if you happen to experience chronic coughs – the one that is capable of ruining your sleep resulting in symptoms such as vomiting and light-headedness – do pay a visit to the doctor’s. Coughs lasting 8 weeks or more in grown-ups and more than 4 weeks in children are also considered to be chronic.

The variety

Yes, variety’s aplenty when it comes to brands of cough mixture. But, what sets them apart?


Cough mixture of this sort is a type of suppressant that suppresses your tendency to cough. It can, however cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting or constipation.  Antitusives are commonly used to alleviate dry coughs. It may contain codeine, dextromethorphan, dihydrocodeine, pholcodine or pentoxyverine.  


This type of cough mixture loosens up the mucus in your respiratory tract by thinning and clearing the mucus that is blocking the airways. It can be used for coughs that produce mucus. It may contain guaifenesin, ammonium chloride, ammonia, senega, sodium citrate or ipecacuanha.  


They are medicines that make the mucus in your airways tract less thick and sticky so it is easier to cough out.  This can be helpful if you have chronic coughs as it helps you to cough up the mucus from the lungs. It contains bromhexine or acetylcysteine.  


They are cough syrups that may suppress coughing through the formation of a protective layer in the throat. It can contain sugar (sucrose) and glycerol.

Lastly, seek advice from a pharmacist to know the type of  cough mixture that can provide a better relief to your coughs if you are unsure. It is also not recommended to provide infants or children below 2 years old with OTC cough products as it can be harmful.


Drugs. Available from

Family Doctor. Available from

Food and Drug Administration. Available from

NPS MedicineWise. Available from

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WedMD. Available from

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