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What Are the Active Ingredients in Cough Syrup?

Dextromethorphan and Guaifenesin

How Dextromethorphan and Guaifenesin Can Rescue You from a Nasty Cold or Flu

People often say that “It’s Never Just a Cough” because there is a lot of truth to it. If you find yourself suffering from a nasty cough because of a cold or flu, it’s extremely important to understand why you’re coughing and, more importantly, what action is the best course of treatment. Medically speaking, there are four distinct types of cough: “whooping” cough, croup cough, dry cough, and wet cough[1]. Cough relief products that contain dextromethorphan (cough suppressant) and guaifenesin (cough expectorant) can provide relief for your dry cough and wet cough.

Women coughing

Dry Vs. Wet Cough

Dry cough often occurs as a result of an upper respiratory tract infection in the nose and/or throat caused by a cold or flu. However a dry, hacking cough can also be an early sign of a lower respiratory infection in the trachea, bronchi, and/or lungs. In either situation, this type of cough can become worse at night or if you’re exposed to extremely dry air or irritants such as dust, pollen or smoke.

A wet cough usually occurs as a result of a build-up of fluid secretions and mucus in the lower respiratory tract due to an infection. Your body’s natural reaction to remove these fluids from your windpipe and lungs is to cough.

Cough Relief

When it comes to relieving your cough, dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are two key ingredients in cough medicine that often work together ease your cough symptoms. However, while dextromethorphan and guaifenesin typically work together in one medication, each ingredient targets a specific aspect of your cough. So, it can be helpful to know what each does when choosing your cough relief medication.

Quotation marksWhen it comes to relieving your cough, dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are two key ingredients in cough medicine that often work together ease your cough symptoms.Quotation marks

Treating Your Cough with Dextromethorphan

Dextromethorphan Hbr (Hydrobromide) is a cough suppressant that is particularly effective in addressing a nagging dry cough. Dextromethorphan, or DXM for short, is an ingredient that works in the brain and central nervous system to target signals that trigger the cough reflex and ultimately help reduce the urge to cough. DXM is the main ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) cough relief products such as Robitussin 12 Hour, a powerful suppressant for dry cough.

Treating Your Cough with Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin is an expectorant, an ingredient that helps thin and loosen excess phlegm by increasing the amount of water present in your secretions. Effective in addressing chest congestion, Guaifenesin helps to clear the airways to make it easier to breathe. The more secretions you are able to cough up and purge from your respiratory tract, the less congested you will be. Guaifenesin would be your go-to ingredient when battling a wet cough.

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  • †Robitussin Naturals are DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. †Ivy Leaf relieves occasional cough and helps clear mucus associated with hoarseness, dry throat and irritants; non-naturally derived vitamin C (Immune Health gummies) and zinc (Immune Health liquids) support a healthy immune system.*
  • **True Source Honey is ethically and transparently sourced. Click here to learn more
  • ††Among leading cough and cold brands.
  • ^Read more about our non-GMO standard. here
  • This product contains the active ingredients Dextromethorphan.
  • *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  • Use as Directed.