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. Cough relief products that contain dextromethorphan (cough suppressant) and guaifenesin (cough expectorant) can provide relief for your dry cough and wet cough.
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.
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.
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.
1. Source: Healthline.com (https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-coughs)