The Pharmacist Says…Understand Cough and Congestion
Today, there are numerous oral cough and congestion medications available at the neighborhood drug store. The list of medications can be overwhelming to patients. Organizing these medications into 4 categories simplifies the process of choosing a medication and preventing drug interactions and reactions.
The categories are:
3. Cough Suppressants
Antihistamines are used for allergy symptoms and relief of a runny nose. Some common antihistamines are diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin), and chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor-Trimeton). Benadryl causes drowsiness and is used in several OTC sleep medications (for example, Tylenol PM). Benadryl is also used as an antitussive in some OTC cough medications (Benylin). Exercise caution after taking Benadryl because of the sedation associated with it. Claritin is a non-sedating antihistamine.
Decongestants are used to relieve nasal stuffiness or congestion. Decongestants can also relieve pressure in the ears. Some common decongestants are pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE). Decongestants can elevate blood pressure. Patients should consult their physician before taking any decongestants.
Cough suppressants are used to relieve cough. Some common cough suppressants are dextromethoraphan (used in Robitussin DM) and diphenhydramine (Benylin).
Expectorants are used to thin secretions. A common expectorant is guaifenesin (Mucinex). Water also acts as a natural mycolytic by thinning out the secretions.
Cough and congestion medications contain one or more of these categories. For example, some medications contain a cough suppressant and an antihistamine.
It is very important to check the medication’s active ingredients box to determine what is contained in the medication.
Always check with you doctor or pharmacist before taking a cough and congestion medication if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate, or had an obstruction or narrowing of the bowel. Also, do not take any cold medications if you are taking a Monamine Oxidase Inhibitor (Certain drugs used for depression, psychiatric, or emotional conditions, or Parkinson’s disease), or for 2 weeks after stopping the MAOI drug. If you do not know if your prescription drug contains a MAOI, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Always consult your doctor first.
Breathe Easy CPAP is proud to offer a complete line of CPAP machines, CPAP humidifiers, CPAP masks, CPAP headgear and all cleaning and CPAP accessories. Best of all you can order online in the privacy of your home.
THE DREAM TEAM at Advanced Sleep Therapy consists of a team of Respiratory Practitioners, as well as an RN Nurse Clinician who will assist you in starting out with the proper CPAP treatment equipment right in the comfort of your home and then provide ongoing monitoring to your Doctor.
Advanced Sleep Therapy located in Arlington Heights has been serving Chicagoland for over fourteen years. Their knowledge and experience in CPAP machines, CPAP humidifiers, CPAP masks, CPAP headgear and all cleaning and CPAP accessories is outstanding, which is what makes them JCAHO Gold Seal Certified providers.
Don’t have insurance? No worries, you can always order online from our sister company Breathe Easy CPAP. Breathe Easy CPAP is proud to offer a complete line of CPAP machines, CPAP humidifiers, CPAP masks, CPAP headgear and all cleaning and CPAP accessories.