Главная 7 Diseases of the ear, nose and throat 7 Treatment of wet cough with drugs: how to treat with antitussives

Treatment of wet cough with drugs: how to treat with antitussives

Treatment of wet cough with drugs: how to treat with antitussives

There are more than 20 diseases that can be accompanied by coughing. Despite the fact that the cough is a protective reflex of the body, aimed at cleansing the respiratory tract from sputum and other particles, it brings serious discomfort to its owner.

Therefore, most adults do not want to tolerate it and try to get rid of such a symptom as soon as possible.

There are two types of cough: dry and wet. In the first case, the sputum is not cleared of cough, the cough is very painful and painful, in the second case a different amount of bronchial secretions can be released.

You should know! It is very important to distinguish between these two types of cough, as their treatment is radically different.

Some drugs that are shown when dry, are strictly prohibited when wet cough. Accordingly, therapy should be chosen by the doctor, because self-medication can only harm.

In this article we will look at which drugs will help to quickly and effectively get rid of wet cough for children and adults.

How can you affect a wet cough

To understand what kind of medicine for wet cough to apply, you need to understand the mechanism of its development. Normally, the evacuation of secretions from the lumen of the bronchi provides mucociliary transport mechanism. It consists of targeted movements of the cilia of epithelial cells, which cover the inner surface of the bronchial tree, from the rhythmic contractions of the bronchial smooth muscles and normal bronchial mucus.

Outside of the disease, this mechanism contributes to the constant movement of mucus in the direction of the nasal cavity and the removal of all foreign substances, without causing cough.

During inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract, mucociliary transport starts to work incorrectly, which contributes to the stagnation of sputum in the bronchi, increasing its viscosity, irritation of cough receptors and the appearance of cough.

Bronchial mucus consists of 2 layers:

  • bottom more liquid – sol
  • top thick gel.

Cilia of the ciliated epithelium carry out their movements in the liquid part of the secret. Any inflammatory processes are accompanied by an increase in the total amount of bronchial secretions, and its composition also changes, which causes an increase in viscosity. This, in turn, causes a violation of the function of cleansing the bronchi, since the cilia can not push through the thick secret.

Favorable conditions are created for sedimentation and reproduction on the surface of the respiratory tract of pathogenic microorganisms, which can cause pneumonia.

As already mentioned, the cough is a protective mechanism, but it performs its function only in the case of normal rheological characteristics of sputum. It is for this purpose that they use drugs for wet cough, which do not eliminate sputum, but contribute to the change of its rheological properties, so that people can get rid of thick mucus through coughing.

Antitussive drugs

Cold preparations can eliminate the cough by turning off the central (centrally developed antitussive agents) or peripheral (peripheral action antitussives) of the cough reflex link.

It is important to understand that antitussive agents do not eliminate the cause of the symptom, but only block it. Their use is justified only in isolated cases, as a rule, it is a strong dry cough.

Indications for the appointment of such tablets or syrups:

  • bronchoscopy
  • malignant respiratory diseases
  • during surgery
  • whooping cough
  • increased risk of aspiration
  • diseases of the upper respiratory tract in children, when there is a dry, strong cough, and the production of bronchial secretions is not increased.

It is important to remember! Antitussives are strictly prohibited from wet cough for children and adults.

If they are used, thick sputum will not be drained to the outside, which significantly increases the risk of pneumonia and obstructive syndrome (especially in young children).

Representatives of antitussives:

  1. Central action narcotic: codeine, ethyl morphine, dionin.
  2. Central non-narcotic action: synecod, butamirate, glauvent, glaucine, libexin, tusuprex.
  3. Peripheral action: prenoxdiazine, levodropropizin.

The main types of remedies for wet cough

For the treatment of wet cough use drugs from 3 groups:

  • mucolytics,
  • expectorant
  • combined.

Mucolytic agents act on the pathological sputum inside the bronchi, namely on the gel layer, contributing to its liquefaction, which leads to the normalization of mucociliary transport and the removal of mucus by natural means. Mucolytics do not increase the amount of sputum, but only dilute it.

Therefore, are considered the drugs of choice for the treatment of moist unproductive cough.

Mucolytics can be divided into 2 groups:

  • non-enzymatic (acetylcysteine, carbocysteine, ambroxol)
  • proteolytic enzymes (trypsin, chymotrypsin).

The latter are used rarely and mainly as inhalations. They destroy the bonds between the protein substances of sputum, which contribute to its liquefaction. Unfortunately, the use of enzymes has a number of side effects: hemoptysis, allergies, bronchospastic syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis, which limits their use in clinical practice.

The exception is alpha-DNA-aza (pulmozyme), which is used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis in children.

Expectorant drugs can be divided into 2 groups:

  1. reflex action,
  2. resorptive action.

The first group of products is based on plant materials (marshmallows, anise, elecampane, maternal, plantain, thermopsis, licorice, thyme, eucalyptus, ivy leaves). Such syrups or tablets with internal administration irritate the gastric mucosa, which, in turn, stimulates the vomiting center in the brain and reflexively causes an increase in the secretion of saliva and bronchial mucus.

Thus, the expectorant dilutes the sputum by increasing its volume due to the liquid part.

It is important to know! The use of such funds is not recommended for children under 4 years of age, since at this age the bronchi are too narrow, and their mucosa is prone to edema and obstruction.

Under these conditions, an increase in sputum may cause decompensation of mucociliary transport and the development of complications (pneumonia, bronchial obstruction).

Resorptive drugs (sodium iodide, potassium iodide, ammonium chloride, sodium bicarbonate) also contribute to the dilution of sputum by increasing its volume. They are absorbed into the blood from the gastrointestinal tract and are excreted into the lumen of the bronchial tree along with additional fluid.

They are also not recommended for young children.

Combination medications contain 2 or more effective remedies for treating wet cough from different groups. Such drugs may contain mucolytics, bronchodilators (relieve obstruction), expectorant, antihistamine, antitussive, febrifuge, antiseptic substances.

Such funds are prohibited to use as self-medication, they must be prescribed only by a doctor for special reasons.

Mucolytic drugs


This drug belongs to mucolytics. It breaks the bonds between mucopolysaccharides of mucus, which contributes to its liquefaction and removal by means of coughing. Among the side effects of acetylcysteine ​​can be noted provocation of bronchospasm, so it is not recommended to use in young children with obstructive bronchitis.

Also, with long-term use of the drug can inhibit local immunity, which creates restrictions in its use. As a rule, the course of treatment should not exceed 10 days.

It must also be remembered that it is impossible to use acetylcysteine ​​at the same time as antibiotics, since the drug inhibits their action. The minimum interval between them should be 2 hours.


It has a similar mechanism of action with acetylcysteine, but, unlike the latter, does not provoke bronchospasm, does not inhibit the immune defense of the bronchial tree, therefore it can be used in young children.

Bromhexine and Ambroxol

A group such as bromhexine and its active metabolite, Ambroxol, belong to the group of mucolytics. The latter is used in modern medicine. The substance is characterized by the following actions:

  • dilutes sputum, while not changing its quantity
  • activates the function of the ciliated epithelium of the bronchi
  • stimulates the production of surfactant (a substance that covers the alveoli and prevents them from sticking together)
  • improves the evacuation function of the bronchial tree.

Ambroxol is perfectly combined with all medicines, including antibiotics, and even potentiates the action of some. That is why it is the drug of choice for treating wet cough in both children from the first weeks of life, and in adults.

If you are thinking about the question of how to treat a wet cough in a child or an adult, then you should always start with ambroxol. This drug has many dosage forms (syrups, tablets, solutions for intravenous and intramuscular administration, solutions for inhalation), which makes this therapy available to any patient.

In addition, you can drink abroxol for up to 10 days on your own without consulting a doctor (there are practically no side effects). If the need for medication continues, you need to consult with a specialist.

Expectorants with a wet cough

There are a lot of such drugs on the modern pharmaceutical market. Consider the most famous representatives.

This is an expectorant reflex action. Contains ivy leaf extract. Available in clear syrup with a pleasant aroma and taste.

Allowed for use from 2 years as a complex treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract and bronchi. Do not drink the drug to pregnant and lactating mothers, patients with bronchial asthma and children with a predisposition to laryngism.

In the line of cough remedies Herbion there are several drugs. Although they all belong to expectorant with a reflex mechanism of action, but primrose syrup is best suited for treating wet cough.

Allowed to use from 4 years.

Contains Althea root extract. Refers to expectorant drugs reflex action. It is used in the complex treatment of diseases that are accompanied by a moist unproductive cough.

The drug is allowed for use from the 1st year. The duration of the course should not exceed 14 days.

Among the side effects should be noted allergic reactions, and in the case of appointment with a dry cough – strengthening the latter.

Combination Drugs


This is a combined drug that has mucolytic, antitussive and expectorant effects. It consists of butamirath (non-narcotic antitussive agent of central action), guaifenesin (expectorant). As already mentioned, the use of such funds with a wet cough is prohibited.

Stoptussin is used only for the treatment of dry irritant and paroxysmal cough.

Although this tool does not apply to drugs for the treatment of cough, but it is often used in the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract. The active ingredient is finspirid, which is characterized by anti-inflammatory activity, relieves broncho-obstructive syndrome.

Allowed to use for children from 2 years.

This is not all drugs that are used to treat wet cough. A wide range of medications, multiple commercials on television are often confused even by an experienced doctor when choosing a cough treatment.

Therefore, in any case, you can not self-medicate, because in this way you can only harm yourself or your child.

О admin


Check Also

Licorice syrup from which cough helps, how to take licorice root tincture

In nature, there is a huge number of useful plants that are used for the ...

Pertussin cough syrup: from what to take (dry, wet), instruction

Cough occurs when the body tries to free itself from a foreign body that has ...