Expectorants - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Expectorants - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Expectorants - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Expectorants are phlegm-thinning drugs that are used to treat coughs with phlegm and relieve breathing when you have a cold, flu, or allergy cough. This drug is available in the form of tablets, capsules, syrup, and suspension

Expectorants work by diluting phlegm that clogs the respiratory tract, so that phlegm is easier to expel when coughing. That way, the breath becomes easier and the cough heals faster.

Expectorant - Alodokter
Expectorant - Alodokter

Expectorants can be found in the form of a single drug or in combination with other drugs in cold and flu medicine products. There are expectorant medicines that are sold over-the-counter and some must be purchased with a doctor's prescription.

Warning Before Taking Expectorants

Expectorants should not be used carelessly. There are several things that must be considered before using this drug, namely:

  • Do not take expectorants if you are allergic to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Consult your doctor about using expectorants if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking expectorants, as these drugs can cause drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Do not give expectorants to children, unless directed by a doctor.
  • Consult your doctor about using expectorants if you have or have had tuberculosis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic cough, coughing up blood, or electrolyte disturbances.
  • Tell your doctor if you have thyroid disease, kidney disease, heart disease, Addison's disease, myotonia congenita (a genetic muscle disorder), or hyperkalemia.
  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria, or liver disease. Expectorant drugs in the form of syrups or suspensions generally contain sugar, aspartame, alcohol, or other substances that people with these conditions need to avoid.
  • Drink more water while taking expectorants, because these drugs use water from the body to thin out phlegm.
  • Consult your doctor about using expectorants if you are taking certain other medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • See your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or are accompanied by fever, severe sore throat, skin rash, or persistent headache after 1 week of using expectora
  • See your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to a drug or overdose after taking an expectorant.

Side Effects and Expectorant Hazards

Side effects that can occur after using expectorant drugs depend on the type. In general, some of the side effects that can arise are:

  • Sleepy
  • Dizziness, headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, heartburn, or diarrhea
  • Swelling or pain in the lower jaw
  • Body feels tired
  • Rash on skin

Check with your doctor if the side effects mentioned above don't go away or get worse. You should also see a doctor immediately if an allergic reaction occurs to the drug, which can be characterized by an itchy rash, swelling of the tongue, mouth and face, shortness of breath, or the following complaints:

  • Goiter or enlargement of the thyroid gland, which is characterized by the appearance of a lump in the neck and pain in the neck area
  • Excess salivating
  • Talp disturbances, such as a metallic taste in the mouth
  • Chest pain, heart rate too fast, too slow, or irregular
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness, pain, and swelling in the hands or feet
  • Coughing up blood, vomiting blood, or vomiting like coffee grounds
  • Stool is bloody or black like asph alt

Types, Trademarks and Dosage of Expectorant Drugs

The following are two types of drugs that are included in the expectorant group, along with their trademarks and dosages:

1. Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin is an expectorant drug that is often used to treat coughs with phlegm.

Trademark guaifenesin: Allerin Expectorant, Anaconidine, Actifed Plus Expectorant, Benadryl Wet Cough, Bisolvon Extra, Bodrex Cough Cold, Codipront Cum Expectorant, Cohistan Expectorant, Comtusi, Dextrosin, Flutamol, Guaifenesin, Hufagripp Forte, Hufagripp Fu & Cough, Itrabat, Komix, Konidin, Lapifed Expectorant, Mextril, Neo Pim-Tra-Col, Oroxin, Oskadryl Extra, Siladex Mucolytic & Expectorant, Transpulmin, Woods Peppermint Expectorant.

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please visit the guaifenesin drug page.

2. Potassium Iodide

This expectorant is used to treat cough with phlegm in conditions of asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. Potassium iodide is available in liquid and tablet form.

Potassium iodide trademark: -

The dose of potassium iodide for coughing is 300–600 mg, 3–4 times a day.

3. Ammonium Chloride

Besides the two drugs above, ammonium chloride also has an expectorant effect, so it is often used as a mixture in cough medicines.

Trademarks of ammonium chloride: Benacol Expectorant, Bufagan Expectorant, Cough-En, Dexyl, Emtusin, Erphakaf Plus, Etadryl Expectorant, Fenidryl, Floradryl, Ifarsyl Plus, Inadryl, Itrabat, Lapisiv, Miradryl, Molexdryl, Multikol, Neladryl DMP, Neladryl Expectorant, Nichodryl, Nusadryl, Black cough syrup (OBH), Ometidryl, Pectorin, Poncodryl, Pyridryl, Ramadryl Expectorant, Standryl Expectorant, Unidryl, Ventusif, Winapen, Yekadryl Expectorant, Yekadryl Expectorant Extras.

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please visit the ammonium chloride drug page.