How Does Expectorant Cough Medicine Work? And What Its Side Effects?

There are different types of coughs and the same holds good for cough syrups as well. Doctor prescribes a cough syrup depending upon the type of cough we are suffering from. For instance, dry cough needs a different cough syrup whereas congestion ridden cough will require a different one.

There are several times that the common cold builds up mucus which leads to chest congestion or what we call congested cough. Expectorant medicines that are usually prescribed for congested cough work by loosening up congestion and clearing the mucus from the congested lungs.

So, how do expectorants work?

Expectorants come in the form of liquids or tablets for oral consumption. They contain active ingredient like guaifenesin. Once taken orally it gets absorbed in the blood stream.

expectorant-cough-syrupThere are some other active ingredients found in the expectorant which help in reducing the amount of coughing, nasal congestion, minor aches and pains, running nose, fever and sneezing. The active ingredients that are present in the expectorant are believed to make the mucus really fluidic so that it comes out when we cough. The main work of expectorant is to liquefy or make the body’s secretion like mucus so thin that it gets released without creating any further congestion.

Precautions before taking expectorants

Before you start taking expectorant it is really advisable that you consult the doctor once as it might trigger some allergic reaction if you are prone to allergies. The next time when you visit your doctor for cold and cough you better tell your doctor that you are allergic to some of the ingredients (if any) then accordingly your doctor will change the medicine.

If you are pregnant then it is better to stay away from this medicine.

Side effects of expectorants

There have been some side effects of this medicine and the most common one is nausea and vomiting. The other symptoms which can lead to serious allergic reaction include:

  • Rashes
  • Itching or swelling of face or tongue or the throat
  • Feeling dizzy all through the day after having the medicine
  • problem in breathing

There are various other side effects that you may encounter; so if you notice anything abnormal then just stop taking the medicine and ask for your doctor’s help.

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