How Do I Know What OTC Cough Treatment I Should Get?

Cough is one of those common illnesses that could soon go away even if untreated.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications however help in getting rid of cough easily. These drugs can be easily availed without a prescription and taken according to instructions on its label. OTC drugs act as a front liner in treating any symptoms and illnesses. Here are some things to take note of when buying OTC cough treatments:

Know If It Can Be Self-Treated

While visiting a doctor is considered the best way to treat a cough, you can however opt for self-medication if it is not too serious. Fever, shortness of breath, and wheezing are some of the common symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, you may go for OTC medicines to relieve your cough.

Identify What Kind of Cough You Have

There are two types of cough that you may experience during a respiratory episode. Cough that expels phlegm or mucus is called “wet” or “productive.” It helps your body remove the bad gunk in your lungs. However, this type could affect your daily routine. Dry cough, also known as “nonproductive cough,” is the other type of this respiratory illness. It is less burdensome as it doesn’t produce any phlegm or mucus.

Take the Right Medicine

Depending on what type of cough you have, you need to choose between an expectorant and a suppressant. The expectorant is used by those with wet coughs as it makes it easier for them to get rid of the mucus. For wet coughs, you may opt to go for Ambroxol which dissolves hard phlegm. Another variation of expectorant is Carbocisteine which makes it easier for you to release mucus and phlegm from your body. On the one hand, suppressants work by preventing you from giving in to cough reflex. For dry coughs, you may take suppressants like Dextromethorphan so you won’t be irritated and be up all night.

OTC cough medicines are welcome developments especially at this time when it is easier to be infected. Proper health education is necessary to use them responsibly, but it is still best to work with a doctor to treat your cough. If you need an OTC cough medication, make sure to go to any Watsons store or through Watsons website.


-Medical Observer



Wet Cough vs Dry Cough. Accessed at

To Cough or Not to Cough – Expectorants vs Suppressants. Accessed at

Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options. Accessed at

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