Cough medication


Cough syrup is a typical dosage form for cough medicines.

Many people suffer from coughs, especially when they have a cold. Children are often affected by coughs. Coughing refers to the rapid expulsion of air through the glottis triggered by a stimulus.

Causes of cough are either obstructions of the airways (e.g. due to mucus) or irritation of the mucous membranes (e.g. due to smoke or dust). As a concomitant symptom of a runny nose or similar illnesses, the cough is often torture. It hurts, disturbs the night's rest and strains the airways.

Cough medication (Antitussives) are therefore among the most frequently prescribed drugs. However, a cough is not only found with a harmless cold, it can also be a symptom of serious illnesses. If the cough lasts for a long time, if it worsens or if coughing up blood (expectoration of bloody secretions) occurs, a doctor should be consulted.

Active ingredients

Cough suppressants will be one hand synthetic manufactured, but can also be found in the nature.

Out Poppy plants are for example opiate gained, which have an antitussive effect. These drugs for coughs include the active ingredients Noscapine, Codeine, Dihydrocodeine and Dextrometorphan.

Noscapine quenches coughs and works by the way expanding to the Bronchi, which can be beneficial for colds. Unlike most opiates, noscapine does not dependent or tired and has no dampening effect on the Respiratory irritation off, taking it over a longer period is possible. Also Side effects just kick very few on. The best-known noscapine preparation in Germany is Capval®.

Codeine and its descendant, that Dihydrocodeine are very similar in their chemical structure to morphine. They don't just work cough suppressant, but also pain reliever (analgesic). Codeine and dihydrocodeine are used in pain therapy anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid administered in combination. If codeine or dihydrocodeine is taken, it often occurs Side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation fatigue on. I.

In Germany, the two active ingredients are subject to their analgesic and addicted making effect that Narcotics Act and therefore may only be contained in medication and prescribed in extremely small quantities. Preparations containing codeine or dihydrocodeine, which are used as medicines for coughing, are for example Codipront®, Paracodin® or Longtussin®.

The third representative of the opiates, that Dextromethorphan, in addition to its use as an anti-cough medicine, is also known as Painkiller used. Like noscapine, dextromethorphan does not addictingHowever, side effects still occur. Dizziness, nausea, Vomit, fatigue and in the special case of an overdose of dextromethorphan too Hallucinations and psychotic states are such side effects. Neotussan® and Cough suppressant Ratiopharm® are medicinal products for sale in Germany that contain dextromethorphan.

All representatives of the Opiate group work through similar mechanisms. A multitude of special "Detection sites"for opiates or their derivatives. They are so-called Opioid receptors. These are distributed throughout the body and play an important role in the Pain inhibition. Active ingredients based on opiate bind to these detection sites and therefore not only work relieving the urge to cough, but in most cases too pain reliever (analgesic).

However, there are not only cough drugs that work through opiates. Levodropropizine and Pentoxyverine are active ingredients that also work against coughs, but the exact mechanisms of their cough suppressant effect are still there not clarified in detail.

Levodropropizine, a alcohol, is obtained from bacteria and used for severe irritable coughs. The drug available in pharmacies is called Quimbo syrup® sold.

Pentoxyverine works in specialized places (Receptors) of nerve fibers and thus dampens the urge to cough. It is called Sedotussin® sold in Germany.

If you take drugs against coughs with the active ingredients levodropropizin or pentoxyverine, occur as Side effects most frequently Gastrointestinal complaintslike diarrhea nausea or Vomit but also fatigue on. As with all medications, intolerance can lead to allergic reactions with allergic (anaphylactic) shock.

Cough medications are helpful around that bothersome symptom to treat, but should not on your own for a long time be taken.

Dosage forms

Cough medication exist in almost every dosage form.

The best-known variant is the cough syrup, it is either administered with a spoon or via a drinking cup integrated in the bottle lid. Another liquid dosage form of anti-cough medication is the Cough syrup This has a more viscous consistency than cough syrup and is dosed with a spoon.

Further forms of administration such as Effervescent tablets to dissolve in water or Lozenges are used as well as Teas with antitussive (against cough) effect.

Home remedies

If you have a slight cough, a number of home remedies can help.

There are plenty of plants and herbs in nature that are said to have medicinal effects. Medicines for coughs also occur naturally. They are then often used as "home remedies".

The "classic"among the home remedies are:

  • cocoa
  • ginger
  • Inhaling salt water vapor
  • Onion and honey infusions

Cocoa is said to have an antitussive effect because it contains the substance Theobromine contains. This stimulating substance (stimulant) not only quenches coughs, but also dilates blood vessels. It relaxes the smooth muscles that occur in the bronchi and can thus widen the airways. In high doses, some side effects such as palpitations and headaches occur.

You can find out how helpful cocoa is for coughing at: Chocolate for coughs

The tuber plant ginger also has a reputation for relieving coughs. Many people suffering from coughs therefore resort to ginger tea or ginger infusions to improve their symptoms. Essential oils and pungent substances in ginger have a relieving effect on the respiratory tract, the pungency ensures increased salivation and thus reduces the urge to cough. But ginger not only helps with coughs, but also with inflammation and relieves pain.

By far the most frequently used medicine for coughs from the medicine cabinet is the inhalation of salt water vapor. For this, water is boiled and salt is added, then you lean over the pot with the steaming water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the water vapor through your nose. However, caution is advised, as it is easy to burn yourself in hot water or steam. If in doubt, you should let the water cool down a little before you start inhaling. Salt water keeps the attacked mucous membrane in the nasopharynx moist, and it also loosens stuck mucus.

Read more information on the subject inhalation

Another common home remedy, the juice of an onion mixed with honey, also promises to relieve coughs, since onions, like honey, are said to have an expectorant and antimicrobial effect. To make the mixture, cut an onion into small pieces and boil it with a few spoonfuls of honey until the juice comes out of the onions, then pour the mixture through a sieve to separate the juice from the onion pieces. If you cough or have an urge to cough, take a teaspoon of the onion-honey mixture.

In general, home remedies are useful and often helpful, especially if you have a slight cough, but they do not always replace drug therapy.

For more information, read our article: Home remedies for coughs

Medicines for a coughing fit

A acute coughing fit often occurs suddenly on. It starts with one slight sore throatwhich quickly becomes very uncomfortable. The person concerned feels the urge to cough. It is typical of a coughing fit that you cough with your cough can't stop and sometimes even has the feeling to get no more air.

In such a case, first of all, keep calm. If the pauses between coughing are long enough, one can carefully try one SIP of water or lukewarm tea to drink. This is often enough to irritated Mucous membranes to calm down a little and interrupt the coughing fit.

Alternatively, it is recommended Cough drop With cough suppressants like sage, icelandic moss or eucalyptus. If the coughing attack is interrupted, one must be careful enough to drinkto avoid having another fit of coughing. Water or tea with honey are particularly good.

Medicines for a coughing fit belong to the category of Cough suppressants, which are also used for dry coughs.

Drugs for dry coughs

cough, or dry cough without slime occurs heaped at night and brings the patient to sleep. To get a better night's sleep and to get rid of the annoying urge to cough, you can too Cough suppressants to grab. These are cough medicines that target the Cough center im brain act and the Attenuate the cough reflex.

These are the active ingredients used Codeine, Dihydrocodeine or Dextrometorphan. In pharmacies, for example Monopax® available as a cough suppressant.

At allergic cough often contain the drugs anti-inflammatory substances how cortisone to improve the bronchial swelling in addition to the dry cough.

It is recommended to use antitussive medicines towards evening take to avoid coughing continuously overnight. You can complement the treatment well with Home remedies and above all with adequate hydration.

Read our article for more information: cough.

Phlegm medication

More productive, expectorant cough comes at Colds or flu-like infections more likely in the later course. You can support the coughing up of phlegm by taking medication to treat the cough or the Loosen mucus. The active ingredients used are acetylcysteine ​​(ACC) or that Abroxol. Both substances dissolve mucus by splitting chemical compounds within the secretion molecules and promote expectoration of the secretions from the respiratory tract.

Cough remover therefore get better In the morning taken because the cough is promoted more than quenched by the expectorant effect. If you take cough remover in the evening, you may deprive yourself of sleep.

For more information, read our article: Cough remover

Medication in Pregnancy

Suffer Pregnant women from cough, ask yourself what medication you can take, without harming your unborn child.

At light cough pregnant women have the option to open first Home remedies or herbal remedies to fall back on. Means on thyme or Marshmallow base are commonly well tolerated and harmless for the child as they are of vegetable origin. Tea with honey or Onion infusions can also be consumed without hesitation. Straight soothing herbal teas not only help against the cough, but also relax overall.

Against mucus helps the regular moistening of the Airways, roughly through Inhalation with chamomile vapor.

If the cough worsens, the pregnant woman may after consultation with a doctor and about one short period away antitussive agents, such as ACC akut® with Acetylcysteine to take.

Breastfeeding medication against cough, if at all only after consultation with a doctor and be taken for a short time. The active ingredient is recommended here Dextromethorphan. This substance is contained in, for example Cough suppressant Ratiopharm®.

Drugs in children

to cough children, you have to several things pay special attention.

  1. On the one hand, the child may cough because of one Foreign body swallowed Has. Often this happens at Toddlers. This cough is unproductive and often goes with shortness of breath hand in hand. One such situation is a emergency. Here you have to as quickly as possible Alert emergency services or one Consult a doctor.
  2. Another cause for childish cough is the so-called pseudo croup. Pseudo croup is one Respiratory disease in children, it is caused by an inflammation in the larynx. Having children with pseudo croup dry coughthat sounds barking and shortness of breath. Even in this situation it is better to see a doctor, because he can treat the child properly.
  3. However, if children only have one cold and cough because of it, the therapy is similar to that for adults. Depending on the type of cough, dry or slimy, you either give it Cough suppressants or Cough remover. The cough medication that can be given to children is on vegetable based and well tolerated. Bronchicum® on Thyme base or Prospan® with ivy are good, but the dose should still be discussed with a doctor, as the Duration the treatment as well as the Dosage from the doctor can be best assessed. In addition to treatment with medication, you can take your child with you Home remedies take the discomfort. Teas and silent Waters ensure moist mucous membranes, older children (from about 4 years) can sweets Suck with the medicinal plant Icelandic moss.