In October’s edition of Ask The Pharmacist, Mounthawk Allcare Pharmacy’s Pat gives an overview of cough medication available over the counter.
The recent change in the weather has brought a lot of people into the pharmacy asking for remedies for various types of cough. There are two types of cough- (1) Chesty Cough which is characterised by the production of excessive mucus and (2) Dry Cough which serves no useful function and is caused by an irritant in the
lining of the throat. A cough is just one of your body’s ways of protecting itself from irritants-it serves to clear the airways of mucus and anything that
might be irritating the lining of the throat. In most cases, a cough will resolve of its own accord but often people will want to come into the pharmacy to buy a product to help speed up the recovery time. The following is a snapshot of some of the most popular cough remedies available over the counter
in our pharmacy.
Exputex is the gold standard of cough bottles and is suitable for adults and children 2 years and up. It helps to break up troublesome phlegm which makes it easier to cough up. It also has the added benefit of being sugar free so is suitable for diabetics. It works for productive chesty coughs and should not be used close to bedtime as it can keep you awake. It should be used with caution in those who are prone to stomach ulcers so as always, tell us if you are taking any prescription medications when purchasing products over the counter.
Bronchostop is an all-purpose cough syrup that can be used for all types of cough. Derived from marshmallow root syrup and thyme herb root extract, it is a more natural product and also comes in a childrens formulation that is suitable for children one year and older.
Casacol is one of the most effective cough bottles available for a chesty cough-it’s triple action formula helps to relieve congestion, loosen phlegm and to relieve wheeze.
Benylin Non-Drowsy Chesty Cough syrup contains Guaifenesin which is an expectorant. This will cause you to cough more in the short term but will help to reduce the duration of the cough. For those who are experiencing sleep disturbance from coughing, Benylin Original cough formula contains a sedating antihistamine called Diphenhydramine which helps to promote a good nights sleep. For those who are working or students in school, this is not a good option so always remember to ask questions so we can select the right product for your needs.
Benylin also does a medicine for dry coughs which contains dextrometorphan. This is proven to suppress the cough reflex but should be used with extreme caution in asthmatics.
For children, Benylin also provide a cough bottle range for children aged 6-12 and these taste better than their adult counterparts. For those younger than this, Vivio Junior do a pleasant tasting strawberry and honey flavour cough syrup for children one year and older. Aya have a honey and lemon cough bottle that is suitable for children one year and up and this helps to lubricate the throat which eliminates the tickle and the urge to cough.
A persistent cough that doesn’t respond to treatment should always be referred to a doctor as it warrants further investigation. It could be a side effect of certain medications so a review might need to be conducted to find a suitable alternative. A persistent night time cough can sometimes be a symptom of asthma so this is something to keep in mind if there is a family history of asthma. Smoking is another cause of persistent coughs and can be improved by either reducing the amount of cigarettes that are smoked or by quitting smoking altogether. In rare cases it can be a sign of something more sinister so even though you may think it is nothing more than a nuisance, please check in with your doctor if your cough persists for longer than a few weeks.
As COVID is still circulating in the community, don’t forget to perform an antigen test if in any doubt as a cough is one of the main symptoms of the condition. We have some great deals on antigen tests-both nasal and oral, so pop into store to stock up.
Ph: (066) 712 8989