Is that cough rearing its ugly head again? Are you tired of waking up late at night and not getting enough sleep? Well, it might be time for you to get some non-prescription cough medicine from your local drug store. In making a decision while trying to select what works best, one must decide on how the cough originated. Is the cough related to a cold, a disease condition, or is it medication induced (for those on chronic prescription medicines)? If it is related to a cold, one must then narrow it down on two factors, is it a dry or wet cough?
A dry cough is a cough with no associated phlegm/mucus but it could be highly irritating and persistent. A wet cough on the other hand, is a cough attributed to chest congestion, phlegm, and mucus. If one suspects, a dry cough, the best choice would be an agent that contents the single ingredient dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant. An example of this type of agent would be found in OTC products such as Delsym or Robitussin Long Acting Cough. However, if it is a wet cough, an appropriate agent would be something like Mucinex DM or Robitussin Cough & Chest Congestion. The difference in the remedy for a wet cough is the ingredient guaifenesin, which is an expectorant, which aids in bringing up any phlegm/mucus from the respiratory tract and allowing it to be expelled, thus preventing any chance of bacterial infection. So the next time you come up with a cough, try to think of its origin, and get yourself some relief.