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Cough suppressant advice

JoBo1979 profile image


Wondered if anyone can recommend a cough suppressant that actually works. I am on antibiotics, prednisolone and increased inhalers and these last couple of days I just can't stop coughing. It's stopping me sleeping, but I can deal with that - ridiculously though, I have to briefly appear on stage tonight and I cannot get out of it. I know you're not necessarily supposed to take cough suppressants with asthma, but it's just as a one-off as I just need to not cough for 30-40 minutes, that's all.

Pharmacist yesterday said doc would prob just prescribe me an over-the-counter remedy, so I didn't make an appt. He told me about Codeine Linctus, but it's not stocked in any of the pharmacies near me as it's easily abused. I got Pholcodine Linctus instead and tried it out yesterday, to no avail.

Also tried the usual manuka honey straight off the spoon, hot with lemon, and finally tried a shot of whisky, but nothing helps for more than a few minutes.

Thanks very much indeed.

18 Replies

Hi there, I can sympathise, I’ve been told in the past not to use cough medicine as it can mask your asthma symptoms but when the cough can trigger my asthma something needs doing.

Bronchostop cough medicine is really good as is the Buttercup one, or try Vocalzone, I always use them before I have to go on stage and find they really help. Other than that, I was once told to try heating up lemonade in the microwave, let it cool and then sip it and that helps soothe a tickly cough.

Hope these help and good luck!

JoBo1979 profile image
JoBo1979 in reply to RD23

That's brilliant - thanks so much for the advice! Will try one of those, then

Really appreciate it.

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to JoBo1979

Hope it helps as there’s nothing worse than feeling like you need to cough on stage! Good luck!

JoBo1979 profile image
JoBo1979 in reply to RD23

Thanks so much. I have actually stopped coughing now after taking cocodamol (maybe it has enough codeine in it to surpress the cough reflex) and ibuprofen (maybe it's soothed the inflammation in my throat) and lying still in bed for a couple of hours! Also not trying to speak. Partner is going to pick up one of the medicines you mentioned too and and I'll definitely give it a go before I go on tonight! Many thanks again.

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to JoBo1979

Glad you’ve managed to get some relief, hopefully you find something that works.

Cough meds don't really work and can be expensive.simple linctus with warm water helps me but any cough meds in warm water works the same. It tends to stick to the throat to soothe irritation which causes cough too worsen. Codeine linctus does do the trick but sometimes a doctor needs to prescribe. Hope all went ok thought would reply for next time.😊

JoBo1979 profile image
JoBo1979 in reply to Spikedog66

Hiya, and thanks for your reply. That has been my general experience with cough medicines too. I don't know how they get away with selling them!

It did go well the other night, thank you! In the end I was ok after just taking cocodamol and ibuprofen. Seem to be coughing a lot less now anyway so maybe it was just a coincidence, but I'm not complaining! Seeing the nurse tomorrow so I'll see whether I can be given Codeine Linctus for future use.

Pineapple is an anti inflammatory and one time my pharmacist recommended ivy leaf expectorant for a cough. I’m glad things have improved a bit for you though 👍

Ooh, I haven't heard of those remedies before - will have to give them a bash! Thanks a lot.

Here in the US they pretty much only prescribe something called Tessalon Pearls. Many cough medicines can suppress breathing so they’re often not used for asthmatics.

Do you have cough variant asthma, or something like bronchitis?

JoBo1979 profile image
JoBo1979 in reply to

Hiya, thanks for that. Not sure that's available here in the UK, but I have an appointment tomorrow and will ask what options there are. I don't have cough variant asthma - it's just my current throat/chest infection that's causing it. Coughing a lot less now anyway, which I'm very grateful for!

I saw a numbing throat spray in my local pharmacy last week and wondered if that would give a little bit of relief from coughing. I haven't tried it I'm afraid but may be worth a go? It was only a couple of pounds.

JoBo1979 profile image
JoBo1979 in reply to BP135

Thanks for this. I've used those in the past for throat pain and remember them giving some relief. Never tried them for coughing though so will ask about that too!

Look for cough mix with cosine in it

Sorry cosine lol

Won't let me spell codine


Saw doc yesterday but she wouldn't give me any cough suppressant. Said it's important to be able to cough and clear the pus from your lungs when you have a chest infection. Thankfully I am coughing much less than before now anyway.

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