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Cough suppressant or expactorant?

This is killing me, not quite literally. Every year, around fall/winter, I get an upper respiratory infection. I've gotten one every year since Boot Camp in 1999. This year seems worse than others. Every morning this week I've been trying to cough up junk the consistency of boogers. I spend about an hour trying to cough up my toenails. It HURTS. My chest feels like it's trying to crack apart with each cough, and my throat winds up burning. And, because I'm coughing so hard and so long I wind up with a headache all day.

I"m going to the store this morning to get something to help me. Do I get something like Nyquil/Dayquil to suppress the cough, or do I get something like Mucinex to get this crap OUT of my lungs?


Asked by Rosehawk at 11:23 AM on Jan. 18, 2013 in Health

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Answers (21)
  • I would go with mucinex to get the stuff out.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:25 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I'd go with Mucinex too... don't forget to drink lots of water after taking it!

    Answer by anestheticsex at 11:44 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • Mucinex. There is liquid and pill form.
    ALSO look into a daily dose of Zyrtec or Claritin.
    You might think it's all in your chest, but it could be an allergy sinus drip.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:50 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • Try a Netti Pot. Seriously, I used to be a Respiratory Therapist and I could tell you any number of drugs, but nothing works better than a Netti Pot for me. Just give it a try.....

    Answer by m-avi at 11:35 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • m-avi...even though everything is in my chest? The stuff I see about neti pots is for sinus problems. This feels ALL in my lungs.

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 11:38 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • Robitussin or the generic equivalent
    Get plenty of rest
    Drink plenty of fluids
    Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer
    Avoid smoking, second-hand smoke, and other pollutants (airborne chemicals or irritants)
    Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain or fever
    Hope that you feel better soon!!

    Answer by madmueller at 11:38 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I would go with an expectorant. This will help loosen and thin the mucus making it easier to expel and the coughing you do more productive.

    Answer by hootie826 at 11:43 AM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • Other than this stupid cough, I feel fine. I'm hungry like normal and my activity is about the same. I'd say normal, but it's hard to run and exercise when you can't breathe.

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 12:00 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I say try the Mucinex and the neti-pot if you're gonna be home and able to just hack it all up. If you're trying to sleep and/or have to go out in public maybe switch to the Nyquil/Dayquil so you aren't coughing NON-stop. It sounds like an allergy thing also if you're getting EVERY year consistently, have you talked to a doctor about taking allergy meds?

    Answer by DreainCO at 12:13 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • Get an decongestant (if you think you need it) w/expectorant for during the day. You can even add a antihistamine which may lessen the amount of mucus you are making - especially if you have any post nasal drip. Take the decongestant/expectorant with a cough suppressant at night so you can sleep. Then drink TONS of water... add lemon if you can. Water is a natural expectorant (thins the mucus) and the lemon also help clear the mucus from the throat. Got all this info from a great pharmacist I worked with back in the day and have used this formula with my athletes with great results ;o). Hope you feel better ASAP!!!!


    Answer by Crafty26 at 12:16 PM on Jan. 18, 2013