Constant coughing can be bothersome and make day-to-day activities difficult. To resolve that, cough medicines are a great way to suppress your cough reflex and help you get a good night’s sleep. It can also help rid your body of mucus and relieve your coughing altogether.
Over-the-counter cough medicines come in a variety of forms and contain different active ingredients depending on the type of cough you have. Read through our buying guide reviewed by licensed physician Dr. Siselle Fajardo as we've narrowed down the key points to consider when buying cough medications. We've also made a list of the 10 best cough medications available online!
Currently practicing General Medicine and a Resident Physician to different hospitals located in Batangas City.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Over-the-counter or OTC medicines can be purchased without a valid prescription in pharmacies and other drug outlets. They are formulated to cure common conditions like fever, coughs, or colds. There are also ointments, lozenges, and patches that can relieve mild pain in different parts of the body.
They are produced by licensed manufacturers and are approved by the FDA to ensure that they comply with industry standards. OTCs are affordable and would not require you to pay for doctor’s fees. It is, however, important to know what the specific medications are for and how they must be used to guarantee that they will be effective and safe for you.
As coughs are symptoms of other diseases and conditions, they are not cured the same way. Read further to learn about the different types of cough medicine and how they each get to the root cause of your coughing.
Antitussives are also known as cough suppressants. They work by preventing the part of your brain that triggers your throat and causes you to cough. Dextromethorphan is a popular antitussive to look out for when browsing.
It is important to note that this medication should be taken only for dry, irritating coughs and not if the cough isn't caused by phlegm. Also, make sure to check the dosage of the antitussive medicine before giving them to your children, as most that are offered in the market are formulated for adults.
For cough caused by mucus build-up, taking expectorants and mucolytics is a great way to help push the phlegm out of the body. This type of cough gives a feeling of stuffiness and is typically accompanied by a runny nose, postnasal drip, or flu-like symptoms. It can also be referred to as wet or productive cough.
Look for cough medication with guaifenesin. This is the most common type of expectorant available in the market and helps increase water in the airways to make mucus easier to expel. You can expect to cough up phlegm after taking an expectorant, but this will be followed by a feeling of relief and clearer airways.
Mucolytics are a lot like expectorants as they both work to rid the body of mucus. They work by thinning the mucus in the lungs and airways, which melts them away for excretion. Carbocisteine and ambroxol are the most widely available OTC mucolytics.
Allergic to dust or pollen? Your cough might be caused by allergens and would need antihistamines. This type of drug can decrease the body’s reaction to allergens and relieve its symptoms. Signs of coughing caused by allergens are often accompanied by a runny nose and watery eyes.
Deciding on the dosage form to get depends on the person’s drinking capacity and age. Read further to learn about the three different forms of cough medicines.
Among the medicine dosage forms, syrups are the quickest for the body to absorb, thanks to their liquid form. They are also great for people and children who are unable to swallow large pill sizes.
If you plan to stock up on cough medicine at home, some cough syrups can be given to both kids and adults. This can save you a lot more money in the long run. Make sure to look for flavored cough syrups, like cherry or lemon, which would mask the unpleasant taste of the actual medicine.
Tablets are a type of solid dosage form, often given to adults. They are usually the slowest to be absorbed because of their compact size and special coating, but they are great if you prefer not to taste the medicine you are taking since they are swallowed quickly with water. Tablets are also great to store at home as they can be stored at room temperature and have a longer expiration date.
Capsules, much like tablets, are another type of solid medication. They have a gel-like coating that can hold either a powder (for pill capsules) or a liquid substance (for soft gel capsules). The medication is released much faster than a tablet as the gel coating melts once it comes into contact with any moisture.
Lozenges are special tablets that are like medicated hard candies. They are meant to melt in your mouth slowly to let the medicine slide down the mouth and throat. They are typically flavored to mask the taste of the medicine. This type of medication is not recommended for children as accidentally swallowing the entire lozenge could be a choking hazard.
Not all OTCs are made the same as they each have a specific guideline that is dependent on the person’s age. It is important to find the dosage guide on the packaging before taking any medication. Some medicines may also require you to take them either with or without food. You may ask a pharmacist or other healthcare professionals about the proper intake of your chosen medication.
Vitex negundo, also known as lagundi, is a popular plant used for its anti-cough and anti-asthma properties. In the country, more and more medications containing this herb are marketed and are sold as over-the-counter medicine. They are available as capsules and syrups, so you can choose one based on your preferred dosage form.
There are a lot of cough medicines specially made for children. They are often made into syrups of different flavors to make it easier for them to swallow. It would be best to have a medical-grade spoon or cup when giving liquid medication to kids as household spoons differ in sizing.
Another struggle that parents often have when their children get sick is that kids are unable to explain how they are feeling. For instances like this, it is important to observe what kind of cough your child has, determine any other symptoms they might have, and consult their pediatrician if the cough lasts longer than a week.
Having a cough is a symptom of both a cold and the flu. When you have a cold, mucus often builds up in your nasal cavity and sinuses. This can drip down to your throat and cause your body to cough to expel it. Luckily, there are several combination drugs that target the root causes of the three. Taking these will help you heal faster and get back on your feet in no time.
If your symptoms don’t get better, it would be best to set an appointment with your physician. There may be other factors, such as allergies, that could be causing your cough, so other prescription medicines might be of better help. You might also be experiencing cough as a symptom of another condition, and performing medical tests can provide a better diagnosis.
Click to purchase
A Trusted Brand for Cough With Phlegm
Ascof Lagundi Syrup
Herbal Syrup for Both Kids and Adults
Procter & Gamble
Vicks Formula 44
Fast Relief for Dry Coughs
A Soft-Gel Capsule to Expel Mucus
Strepsils Dry Cough
A Lozenge to Relieve an Itchy Throat
A Mucolytic That's Safe for All Ages
A Three-in-One Cough Remedy
All-Natural Remedy for Both Cough and Asthma
A Pediatric Syrup for Wet Cough
Fast-Acting Antitussive Medicine
Solmux is a trusted brand that has been curing coughs for over 30 years. It has expert lung-cleaning action that is backed up by scientific research. It is a powerful mucolytic made with carbocisteine.
It melts the phlegm, making it less viscous and less sticky. It also expels phlegm together with any bacteria present in the respiratory system. Solmux can stop phlegm production, too, allowing you to heal and recover faster.
This medication is best taken with meals. For adults, the recommended dose is 1 capsule every 8 hours. It is important to note that the use of this drug should not exceed more than a week. A 12-piece pack is good for 4 days, making this a very affordable and great choice for adults.
Herbal medicines are both effective and safe for all people. Ascof is one of the first brands to develop an herbal cough medicine using Lagundi leaves. It is ideal for coughs caused by the common cold, flu. or mild to moderate acute bronchitis. It has both bronchodilating and mucolytic properties to clear your airways quickly and effectively.
This syrup can be taken by both adults and kids as young as 2 years old. It has a ponkan flavor to make your medicine intake a sweeter experience. Lagundi is very affordable, and every purchase helps both Filipino scientists and farmers since the ingredients are locally sourced.
Vicks is known for their VapoRub Ointment used by Filipinos for just about any ailment. Now, they have released an oral medication that specifically targets dry cough caused by colds. Users of this product claim it is highly effective and gives fast and long-lasting relief. However, this medication is not ideal if the cough is caused by mucus or phlegm.
Taking Formula 44 gives a warm and comforting feeling to the throat. It is an antitussive that is meant to suppress the coughing reflex. It is safe to be used by kids aged 6 and up. However, if your child is below the age of 6, it is best to consult their pediatrician first before giving them any medication.
Guaifenesin is a type of expectorant that helps loosen mucus and gives relief from chest congestion due to cough. The liqui-gel dosage form it comes in makes absorption of this medicine quick, beneficial to persons suffering from dry, unproductive cough.
It is important to note a couple of side effects may be experienced after taking this medication. These include nausea, vomiting, hypersensitivity, and excitability. This medicine can also cause dizziness and drowsiness, so it is best taken before going to bed.
Struggling with a dry and itchy throat? This antitussive lozenge from Strepsils is great when you want a slow-melting medication for your cough. Each lozenge contains 5 milligrams of dextromethorphan. Two lozenges, one after the other, are melted in the mouth every 4 hours or as needed.
This is ideal to have when you are out of your home to prevent any uncontrollable coughing. However, this type of dosage form is ideally used by adults only, as accidental swallowing of a whole lozenge can be a choking hazard to small children.
RiteMed is a generic drug brand that offers great quality medication for the lowest price possible. All generic drugs still undergo the same quality checks and are guaranteed to pass safety standards before being sold. Getting this is great if you want to save money without compromising your health.
This syrup contains ambroxol, a type of mucolytic that relieves coughs caused by acute and chronic diseases of the respiratory tract. Ambroxol is effective for patients suffering from high mucus secretions from bronchitis and asthma. This cough medicine can be taken by infants, children, and adults, making it ideal for any household.
Tuseran combines the healing properties of dextromethorphan, phenylpropanolamine, and paracetamol. This is ideal for those who have coughs, colds, and a fever at the same time, and it is recommended that adults and children over 12 take one capsule every 6 hours to relieve the symptoms.
It is an antitussive that suppresses coughing. It is also a nasal decongestant to clear the respiratory airways and has analgesic properties that can provide relief from any physical pains experienced. Lastly, it has antipyretic properties, which can lower the body's temperature during a fever.
Lagundi leaves are an effective cough medicine even for those caused by bacterial infections. It is also used as both an expectorant and cough suppressant, so it is ideal to use if you are unsure of the root cause of your coughing.
This medicine is recommended for adult use, and the suggested intake is 1 capsule 3 or 4 times a day. Some side effects experienced with the use of this medication include itchiness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but these are rare and mild.
This pediatric syrup contains carbocisteine, which loosens and melts mucus for ease of expulsion. It is ideal for kids aged 2 to 12, and its cherry flavor can help parents entice their children to take their medication. The recommended dosage is 5 to 10 mL, depending on the child's age.
Note that this formulation may contain allergens, including soybeans, lecithin, artificial colorants, and latex. It is highly recommended for parents to consult with pediatricians before giving their kids any medication to ensure they are safe and appropriate for them.
This antitussive begins its activity in just 30 minutes, letting you be in control of your coughing relatively quickly. It contains butamirate citrate, which is a drug classified as a cough suppressant. Each box contains 100 pieces and is ideal if you want to stock up at home for your family.
If coughing persists after a week of intake, consult with a physician to have a better diagnosis of your condition. Beware of any side effects of this drug, such as dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea. Also, note that this is best partnered with a higher fluid intake to help the body recover faster.
Here are some of the most asked questions on the web regarding cough medicines. Read on below to know Dr. Siselle's answers!
Yes. Cough medications are helpful for symptomatic relief. However, if you have a persistent cough, it is best that you have it checked by the doctor first to rule out any other etiology of the cough. For example, it may be caused by a bacterial infection; hence, other medications may be added to your treatment regimen,
For Mild COVID infections, antibiotics are not necessary since it is caused by a virus. Also, some coughs may be caused by a side effect of some medications, and discontinuing it (after consulting with your doctor) may relieve the cough.
No. If you take your cough medications along with alcohol, this combination may cause somnolence, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and impairment in motor, thinking, and judging. This could be very dangerous, especially in situations that require heightened alertness, such as in operations of machinery or driving.
Just take the amount that is recommended by your physician. You may be at risk of overdose if you take higher than the amount that is prescribed to you. The right amount is enough for the cough to be treated.
Prevention is better than cure. Before you contract any disease, boost your immune system to help fight off any viruses or infections. A strong body heals faster and you can get back to work or school in no time. Check out these articles to find out more about multivitamins you can take.
Author: Roxanne Beatriz Angeles
Reviewed by: Licensed Physician, Dr. Siselle Fajardo
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Unilab｜Solmux｜500 mg
No. 2：Pascual Lab｜Ascof Lagundi Syrup｜300 mg/5 ml
No. 3：Procter & Gamble｜Vicks Formula 44 ｜15 mg/5 ml
No. 4：GSK｜Robitussin Liqui-Gel｜200 mg
No. 5：Reckitt Benckiser｜Strepsils Dry Cough｜5 mg
View Full Ranking
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
BeautyBody care, Makeup, Skincare
CamerasCamera supplies, Digital cameras, Drones and multirotors
HealthBeauty supplements, Medical supplies, Feminine care
Household goodsAir treatment, Bath and shower supplies, Blankets
PCs and laptopsComputer accessories, Computer components, Desktop pcs
Home appliances and electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, Air treatment, Blenders, mixers, and food processors
Food and drinksAlcoholic beverages, Baked goods and desserts, Baking
Kitchen suppliesBaking tools, Coffee and tea accessories, Food containers
ClothingBrands and shops, Men's coats and jackets, Men's innerwear
ShoesMen's shoes, Other shoes and footwear, Outdoor footwear
AccessoriesBags, Accessories and jewelry, Belts
Mom and babyBaby books and toys, Baby food and snacks, Baby supplies
Interior and furnitureBeds, Carpets and rugs and mats, Chairs
HobbiesAnimes, Arts and crafts, Board games
OutdoorCamping beds and cots, Camping stoves, Coolers
DIY and tools
Sports and fitnessAccessories, Badminton, Basketball
PetsCat supplies, Dog supplies, Fish and aquarium supplies
Books, CDs, and DVDsBooks and magazines, CDs, Linguistics, dictionaries, and phrase books
GamesConsole accessories, PC and console games
Cars and motorcyclesCar accessories, Car seats, Car supplies
GiftsChristmas-related gifts, Gifts for kids, Gifts for men
Home improvement and toolsDoor hardware and locks, Electrical, Gas stoves
Smartphones and tabletsSmartphone accessories, Smartphones, Storage
Investment and asset management
Banking and financeCredit cards, Debit cards, Services and apps
InsuranceCar insurance, Life insurance, Medical insurance
AudioEarphones, Gaming, Headphones
Smartphone applicationsBusiness apps, Dating apps, Education apps
OthersOthers, Merch, Recreation