6 ways to stop coughing

A cough can irritate and disrupt your daily life. Although they can be caused by a variety of causes, coughs caused by respiratory infections, such as colds and flu, can last from three to eight weeks.

This article describes six ways to relieve cough symptoms.

cough medicine

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines called cough suppressants relieve symptoms by suppressing the reflex that causes coughing.

However, few studies have proven that these drugs actually provide any benefit. Some may have side effects. Most clinical trials involving over-the-counter cough suppressants show that they are no more effective than doing nothing.


Expectorants (also available over-the-counter) are different from cough suppressants because they don’t stop the cough. They work by thinning the mucus so it drains better. This can help you cough more easily.

Unlike cough suppressants, these drugs have been shown in clinical studies to reduce secretions. This can relieve the symptoms of a cough.

If the cough is caused by the common cold, your healthcare provider may prescribe a decongestant. These can dry up sinus secretions, leading to post-nasal drip (which can make you cough).

How to choose the best over-the-counter cough medicine for you

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Prescription cough suppressants

Prescription-strength cough suppressants are used to relieve a severe cough. These interrupt daily activities and keep you awake at night. If the OTC option doesn’t work, your healthcare provider may prescribe one of these drugs.

Prescription cough suppressants include codeine, which is an anesthetic. These drugs can cause side effects and may also form a habit.

other options

Other ways to relieve cough symptoms include:

Cough drops: Throat lozenges or cough drops containing menthol may help temporarily relieve a cough. Menthol is a mild anesthetic that reduces the need to cough.

Humidifier: When you have upper respiratory disease, using a humidifier can help relieve symptoms. It adds extra moisture to the air, reducing dry air irritation that can bother an already sore throat and uncomfortable nasal passages.

While using a humidifier won’t make your cough go away, it can help reduce irritation to the airways, which means you may cough less often.

A spoonful of honey: Recent studies have shown that honey is more effective than over-the-counter cough suppressants at relieving coughs, especially in children. Just a spoonful of honey can be applied to the throat and relieve a cough, at least regularly.

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, honey should not be given to children younger than 12 months.It contains botulinum spores, which are not harmful to adults but can cause botulism in children under one year of age.


Cough is a common symptom of many diseases. Although irritating, they help remove excess mucus from the airways and prevent it from becoming lodged in the lungs, which can lead to complications such as pneumonia. Cough symptoms can often be relieved with over-the-counter and home remedies. In some cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger cough medicines.

VigorTip words

Most coughs go away on their own within a week or so. Contact your healthcare provider if your cough persists for more than a few weeks or changes significantly. You may need to treat the underlying cause of your cough (such as pneumonia or bronchitis), rather than just trying to relieve symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to quickly calm a cough?

    Keeping the throat and mucous membranes moist can help relieve coughs. Drink water or tea. If you don’t have a drink handy, cough drops, throat lozenges, or hard candies can help.

    Cough medicines can also help calm a cough, but it may take a while before the medicine starts to work.

  • What medicine can stop a cough?

    Dextromethorphan — the DM in many cough formulas — sends a message to the brain to block the cough reflex.

  • Can Guaifenesin Relieve Cough?

    No, guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps treat coughs by thinning the mucus, making it easier to expectorate and pass phlegm. It helps relieve congestion in the chest, but it doesn’t quell a cough.

  • Are cough drops or throat lozenges better?

    Cough suppressants and throat lozenges are very similar. They both contain medications that help relieve coughs, such as menthol. Throat lozenges also contain analgesics, such as benzocaine, to help relieve sore throats.

    Sucking on lozenges or cough drops can increase saliva production. This helps prevent dry throat, soothes an inflamed and itchy throat, and suppresses the urge to cough.

  • What is the best drink for cough relief?

    A cup of hot tea with honey and lemon is usually recommended for cough relief. Honey seems to be the key ingredient. Research shows that honey can help relieve coughs.