An expectorant is a medication that is used to help clear the air passages of the lungs by increasing the production of mucus and making it easier to cough up. It is typically used to treat coughs that are caused by conditions such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
Most expectorants work by breaking down and loosening the mucus in the airways, which makes it easier for the body to expel. Some common ingredients in expectorants include guaifenesin, which is found in products such as Mucinex, and ammonium chloride, which is found in products such as Robitussin.
Expectorants are typically available in pill, liquid, or syrup form. They can be taken orally, usually two to three times a day, or as directed on the label.
While expectorants can be effective in treating coughs caused by respiratory infections, they are not appropriate for all types of coughs. For example, they may not be effective in treating a dry cough caused by allergies or a cold.
In addition, it is important to use expectorants as directed and to avoid taking them for longer than recommended. Overuse of expectorants can lead to side effects such as dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. If you have any concerns about using an expectorant, talk to your healthcare provider.