Best Cough Suppressant

We can agree that a cough medicine must provide hours of relief for an irritating cough.

That was the deciding factor for selecting the best cough medicine.

If you want to skip the reading, the Mucinex DM Maximum Strength Cough Suppressant was our top choice for being the most effective at suppressing a cough.


12 mins to read
54 products considered
13 products reviewed
29 hours reviewing

Top 10 Cough Medicines

RankPictureSuppressantRelief (Hours)Type
1Mucinex12Wet / Dry
2
Creomulsion
4Wet / Dry
3
Robitussin
12Wet
4
Kirkland
4Wet
5
Tussin
8Wet
6
Coricidin
6Wet
7
Delsym
12Wet / Dry
8
Buckley
6Wet / Dry
9
Boericke
6Wet / Dry
10
Robafen
8Wet / Dry

DID YOU KNOW?
The average adult gets two to four coughs each year.
 

Cough Medicine Comparison


Mucinex
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Creomulsion
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Robitussin
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Kirkland
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Tussin
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Coricidin
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Delsym
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Buckley
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Boericke
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Robafen
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Relief
(hours)
1241248612668
Quantity42
Tablets
4 fl oz8 fl oz
/ 4 fl oz
200
/ 400
tablets
8 fl oz

/ 4 fl oz

16
tablets
5 fl oz5 fl oz8 fl oz
/ 4 fl oz
20 Liquidgels
IngredientsGuaifensin,
Dextro
methorphan
Dextro
methorphan
Dextro
methorphan,
Guaifensin
GuaifensinGuaifensin,
Dextro
methorphan
Dextro
methorphan,
Chlorphe
niramine
Dextro
methorphan
Acetamino
phen
Citric acid,
malt extract
Dextro
methorphan
Cough
Type
Wet
/ Dry
Wet
/ Dry
WetWetWetWetWet
/ Dry
Wet
/ Dry
Wet
/ Dry
Wet
/ Dry
TreatmentChest
Congestion,
Dry Cough
Colds,
Bronchial
Irritations
Cough,
Chest
Congestion
Mucus Relief,
Chest
Congestion
Cough,
Chest
Congestion
Cough,
Cold
Colds,
Bronchial
Irritations
Cough,
Throat,
Nasal
Congestion
Colds,
Bronchial
Irritations
Colds,
Bronchial
Irritations
Recommend
Age
(Years)
> 12> 4> 12> 12> 12> 12> 4> 12> 12> 12
Package1311131 / 3 / 6113

 

Cough Medicine Buying Guide

best cough medicine

Types of Coughs

cough-suppressant1There are two basic kinds of coughs that people seem to get. One is a dry cough and the other is a chest cough.  Coughs can be very helpful in getting mucus out of the lungs and preventing other problems from occurring.

  • Dry cough – A dry cough is usually associated with irritation of some kind such as smoke, dust and other irritants.  Dextromethorpan is a common ingredient that is used to treat dry coughs. They can be very uncomfortable and if they are persistent and hard, they can make your head, chest and even your ribs hurt from the force of coughing so much.
  • Chest cough – chest coughs can be productive but only if you can get the mucus out of your lungs and airways. A common ingredient used to treat this type of cough to make it more productive is guaifenesin. It is an expectorant that helps your coughs become more productive. People may notice that they seem to cough more often when they use an expectorant. To help minimize this coughing, you may want to look for a medicine that has both an expectorant and a suppressant in it.

Types of Cough Medicines

There are many types and brands of otc cough suppressants on the market but there are three basic types within all those products.

  • Expectorants – An expectorant will thin the mucus and make it much easier to cough up the mucus and get it out of your system. While it is not a suppressant, it is an important way to make your cough beneficial and better for you than just pointless coughing that does nothing but make you feel worse.
  • Suppressants – A good quality suppressant will reduce the number of times you cough.  This medicine will help you feel better and not spend all your time coughing. Bad coughs can disrupt your sleep and even cause you to throw up if they are hard enough.  If you are trying to minimize coughing in a child, make sure that the medicine you give them is designed for children. It may not be as strong as the adult medicine, but younger children’s systems can’t handle adult levels of certain meds.
  • Combination Cough Medicine – Combination medicines can just have expectorants and suppressants in them or they can be an all-inclusive medicine and have ingredients for stuffy and runny noses, sinus pressureand much more.  For a really bad cough you may find that a specific cough suppressant rather than medicine for all cold symptoms will work on the cough much better.
  • Cough Drops – Cough drops can be a big help when it comes to suppressing a cough.  You can take cough drops along with cough suppressant or expectorant. Make sure the cough drops you get are not simple vitamin c drops or scratchy throat lozenges.  You need actual cough drops that have the menthol ingredients in them to see some results.
  • cough-suppressant2

  • Topical Cough Suppressants – This type of cough suppressant is in the form of a thick ointment that is rubbed onto the throat and chest.  It is also known as vapor rub.  They have very strong smelling vapors that can ease your cough, clear your sinuses and help you sleep. If you have a vaporizer, you can usually get this type of cough suppressant in liquid form to be added to the vaporizer. (read the instructions so you do this properly)

Safety of Cough Suppressants

There are several trains of thought out there when it comes to treating a cough. Some doctors may tell you not to treat it unless you are not being able to eat or sleep or do you day to day activities. However horrible it sounds when you are coughing up mucus, it helps to keep your lungs clear which is very helpful, especially if you have asthma or smoke.

The ingredients that are in cough suppressants may cause other medicines to not work or could interfere with them. An example is dextromethorphan which can affect depression medications. There are also cough medicines and cold medicines that can cause your blood pressure to go up as well. Ask your doctor if you are taking other medications and need to take a cough suppressant.

Cough Medicine Usage

The following tips will help keep you safe when you are using cough suppressants.  Cough suppressants are not dangerous when they are taken properly, in the right dosages but you need to be mindful of these tips whenever you have to take them or you are giving them to your children.

  • Read the Label – Make sure you know what you are taking for your cough so you know what it will be doing. Is it a suppressant, an expectorant or both? Get what you need to take care of the symptoms you are having.
  • Don’t take medicine for more than a week – If the cough is severe or hasn’t gotten better after a week, it’s time to see the doctor to rule out something more serious.
  • Take (or give) the correct dose– Don’t drink the medicine out of the bottle. It is important to take the right dosage so you do not take too much or too little. High doses of cough medicine can be very dangerous and cause seizures or worse.
  • Use combination medicines with caution – Try to only use medicines that are taking care of the symptoms you have. You also need to make sure that you are not doubling up on any ingredients.
  • Keep out of reach of children – if you are giving medicine to your child, make sure that you are using a medicine that they can safely take and don’t give them too much. When giving cough suppressants to kids, it is better to keep a chart so you always remember what time you gave the last dose. Children under 4 shouldn’t have cough medicine unless their pediatrician has prescribed it. Always follow the dosage directions.
  • cough-suppressant3

  • Don’t treat every cough – Sometimes not treating the cough is the best thing, especially if it isn’t interfering with day to day life or sleep. Give your body a week to heal itself. If it doesn’t you should see the doctor.

Conclusion

Having a cough from a cold or the flue is never fun. Sometimes it can cause your head to pound and if the cough is severe enough, you could feel like you’re coughing so much you can’t breathe.  Cough suppressants are designed to reduce the amount of coughing you are doing so you can get some relief from it while you are getting better.

There are so many cough suppressants on the market that it may feel impossible to figure out the right one to take.  Take a good look at the three top rated cough suppressants we have featured in this guide.  All three of them are top of the line medicines and they have been proven to work time and again.

The information in this guide is designed to help you understand cough suppressants better so you can choose the right one for your symptoms and needs.  Knowledge is the best way to make informed decisions that will result in you choosing a product that will actually help you feel better and turn that cough into something productive while you are getting better.

Resources

  1. Mucinex – http://www.mucinex.com/products/
  2. Creomulsion – http://creomulsion.com/
  3. Robitussin  – http://www.robitussin.com/