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Best Over The Counter Medicine For Chest Congestion And Wheezing
Different dry cough medications are available, such as cough suppressants, decongestants, and lozenges. A doctor will recommend the most suitable medication based on the cause of the dry cough. A dry cough irritates the respiratory tract nerves without producing mucus. A dry cough can last a short time or become a long-term problem. Effective treatment may depend, in part, on the underlying cause.A dry cough may develop as a result of:This article discusses the best types of dry cough medications, home remedies, and prevention tips.Cough suppressants block the cough reflex. Although they may not treat the underlying cause, they may reduce symptoms. Dextromethorphan has been one of the most common cough suppressants for the past 50 years.In the United States, several over-the-counter (OTC) medications for children and adults contain dextromethorphan, including:Robitussin Cough and Chest Congestion DMDimetapp Cold and CoughTheraflu Cough ReliefMucinex DMRead more about dextromethorphan effects.DosageCough suppressant medications most commonly come in the following forms:liquiddissolving stripchewable tabletlozengeThe recommended dosage for medications containing cough suppressants may vary depending on the exact active drug and a person’s weight and age. The typical adult dosage for medication containing dextromethorphan is 15–30 milligrams (mg) up to four times per day. A person should not take more than 120 mg in 24 hours.PrecautionsSome cough suppressants can cause psychological effects if people take high doses, such as:Some research suggests that up to 64% of people who take dextromethorphan at high doses may experience some central nervous system (CNS) effects, such as visual hallucinations. A high dose is anything more than 4 mg per kilogram of body weight.Potential side effects Possible side effects from cough suppressants include:Learn more about cough and cold medications.In some cases, a stuffy nose may lead to a dry cough. Decongestants help reduce the swelling in the upper airway. This helps a person breathe more easily, reduces postnasal drip, and eases dry coughing.Different decongestant medications are available. Pseudoephedrine is a common decongestant. OTC medications containing pseudoephedrine include:DosageDecongestants come in various forms, including:liquidstabletsextended-release tabletsThe dosage for decongestants depends on the active ingredient. For decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, the dosage is usually 60 mg up to four times per day, or 120 mg twice daily for the extended-release form. A person should not take more than 240 mg in 24 hours.PrecautionsMedications containing decongestants can stimulate the CNS. Doctors may not recommend this type of medication to people who have:People who have the following conditions should consult a healthcare professional before using decongestants:diabetesincreased intraocular pressure or glaucomaa seizure disorderPotential side effects Possible side effects from taking some decongestants, such as those containing pseudoephedrine, include:Menthol lozenges are another OTC option to treat a dry cough. Menthol provides a cooling sensation and may have a temporary numbing effect that reduces a dry cough. Common brands of menthol lozenges include:DosageMenthol lozenges come in different strengths. The recommended dosage is 1 lozenge every 2 hours and a maximum of 12 lozenges in 24 hours.The recommendation for children over age 12 is 1 lozenge every 2–3 hours and a maximum of 8 in 24 hours.Each lozenge contains 5.4 mg of the active ingredient, menthol. PrecautionsDoctors may not recommend menthol lozenges for children. People with diabetes should check the label for sugar percentage because the sugar content can vary.Potential side effects Menthol lozenges have minimal side effects unless someone is allergic to menthol.Signs of an allergic reaction include:skin issues such as:feverwheezingtightness in the chest or throattrouble breathing or swallowingunusual hoarsenessswelling of the:In addition to the OTC medications, prescription drugs may treat a dry cough. Neuromodulators are one example.A neuromodulator inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses. Doctors use this type of medication to treat:Sometimes, a doctor may use a neuromodulator off-label to treat a chronic cough, including chronic dry cough. “Off-label” means that a doctor uses the medication for something other than its FDA-approved use.According to 2020 research, neuromodulators such as gabapentin and tramadol may benefit people with chronic cough. However, further studies are necessary to assess the effectiveness of tramadol for this purpose.DosageBecause using neuromodulators to treat a dry cough is an off-label use, doctors do not have extensive studies on a starting dose. However, some research suggests that 100 mg of the neuromodulator gabapentin daily may help reduce coughing with minimal side effects.PrecautionsLimited studies suggest that people tolerate neuromodulators in low doses for chronic dry cough.However, as with any medication, especially for off-label use, individuals should discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare professional.Potential side effectsThe potential side effects of taking a neuromodulator for a chronic dry cough may depend on the specific medication. Typical side effects may include:Home remedies or alternative treatments may help reduce a dry cough. Below are a few options to consider. HoneyTaking honey may help suppress a dry cough. A 2018 review suggests that honey may help reduce a cough more effectively than certain types of cough medication, such as diphenhydramine. Parents or caregivers should not give honey to babies younger than age 1 because of the risk of botulism.Learn more about using honey for cough and cold symptoms.Salt water garglingGargling with salt water may ease the irritation that can lead to a dry cough. It may also help kill bacteria in the throat that can lead to infection. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle. Do not swallow the water. Usually, gargling with salt water does not cause any adverse effects.Marshmallow root extract Taking marshmallow root extract may help reduce dry cough symptoms. A 2018 study found that marshmallow root extract had a positive effect on pharyngeal irritation. Participants reported that their symptoms subsided within 10 minutes of taking the extract.One of the best ways to prevent a dry cough is to treat any underlying medical conditions. The following may also help:using a humidifier to keep the air moistdrinking plenty of waterremoving allergens, such as dustavoiding common lung irritants, such as tobacco smokeA dry cough often occurs due to a cold, allergies, or asthma.However, it is helpful to consult a doctor if a dry cough becomes persistent. Consider contacting a doctor if:the cough lasts longer than 2 weeksadditional symptoms, such as a fever, occurshortness of breath developsIn most cases, a dry cough is not a medical emergency. However, a person should consult a doctor if any of the following symptoms develop:The best medications for a dry cough may vary depending on the cause. In most cases, OTC medications such as cough suppressants, decongestants, and lozenges can help decrease a dry cough. Prescription medication may relieve symptoms if the cough becomes chronic. Home remedies, such as honey and marshmallow root extract may also reduce the effect of a dry cough.
Video about Best Over The Counter Medicine For Chest Congestion And Wheezing
What over-the-counter medicine works best at kicking the cough of the common cold and bronchitis?
A cough from the common cold or bronchitis is an obnoxious symptom that can be debilitating. Find out which OTC medication has the most scientific backing for decreasing the cough.
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