Cough meds when mucus is hard to remove - British Lung Foun...

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Cough meds when mucus is hard to remove

Roseking2001 profile image


I hope most of you are feeling positive at the moment even though it is so chilly! :-(

I am having trouble coughing up the mucus today and I am wondering whether to take some cough meds (guaifenesin) to help. Usually I have a good hack and clear some quite thick mucus but today I don't seem to be able to do that and my chest feels tight and I feel a bit breathless.

Does anyone else find that cough meds help at all?

Best wishes to all. xxx

21 Replies

Do you use Carbocysteine? Other then that I can recommend drinking as much water as possible. Both make it easier to cough up mucus by thinning it.

Mollysdad profile image
Mollysdad in reply to mrsmummy

Agree 100%.

I don't use Carbocysteine I believe this is prescription medication? If this persists I may need a visit to the nurse. Thank you for your advice. x

I use it and find it helpful, I use Tesco or Asda’s own brand of chesty cough syrup with guifenesen, works the same as the really expensive brand x

I have some Sainsburys own brand guaifenesin as you say so much cheaper! Thank you for your advice. x

I also find a good old-fashioned steam inhalation works( head under a towel over a bowl of boiling water) or sitting in a hot bath & getting steam in lungs as much as poss. Otherwise, have you been shown the huff method for shifting it?? Briefly you take three or four deep huffs and then a deeper one to get under it. You may find info on internet?? The advice regarding drinking more water & carbocistene is also good.

Love & Hugs to All Diz xx

I thought I would try steam inhalation yesterday poured some boiling water in the bowl in the kitchen sink and stood over it. I must say it was lovely! I think it was the combination of the position I was standing in and the steam it seemed to relax everything and made me feel better. I have tried the huff method but it doesn't seem to help if I am feeling breathless. Thank you for your advice. x

I tri d the Vicks chesty cough one that helps break down the mucus and found that helped me, I used it an hour before bed and then when I got up in morning. Lots of steam too!

I am going to try some cough med in the morning when things seem to tighten up-Ventolin and the med hopefully will set me up better for the day! Thank you for your advice. x

I use Carbosisteine 2xam 2xpm and I huff every morning which usually does the trick. x

Roseking2001 profile image
Roseking2001 in reply to jjnanna

I may have to look into Carbosisteine if symptoms persist. Thank you for your advice. x

I am prescribed carbocistine to try and help...Can be really helpful....I have days when nothing helps and wear myself out trying but it does help most of the time

Sorry to hear you wear yourself out! :-( I may have to look into getting this medication if things persist. Thank you for your advice. x

Definately worth asking gp for these.

carbocistine tablets 1 to 2 3 times a day for me and it has helped no end I still have the odd day of elastic band removal but that is down to not drinking enough? I do drink hot lemon and honey and some times ( Most:) ) with whiskey! that always helps.

Be Well

Roseking2001 profile image
Roseking2001 in reply to Offcut

Mmmmm! Hot lemon and honey with a dash of whisky sounds very warming and comforting. I am going to try this! I might need a trip to the nurse for some carbocistine though it seems that this helps quite a few people. Thank you for your advice. I hope you 'be well' too. x

Offcut profile image
Offcut in reply to Roseking2001

carbocistine has so helped me move it.

bethany1- profile image
bethany1- in reply to Offcut

your elastic band type of mucus is gone most of the time .good news, i have recently went on carbosisteine and huffing breathes and although it has drastically reduced the time to clear my mucus i still have to cough to clear the mucus

Hi Bethany thank you for your advice. I am going to get the nurse to prescribe me some carbosisteine, it sounds as if it will help me. x


Have had trouble getting the stuff up in the past, now have Carbocisteine and each morning or when it's sticking I use a small gadget I got from Pulminory rehab. You "huff" into it and after a short while the mucus starts to move. It's made by Clement Clarke Interrnational

CM 20 2TT UK It's a bit like a none return valve it will only allow you to breath/puff out, works well for me but I don't know it's real name, try to contact them.


Roseking2001 profile image
Roseking2001 in reply to lKeith

Hi Keith thank you for your advice. I am going to try carbocisteine but I don't think I can use the gadget because my lung burst 10 years ago before I was diagnosed with COPD so I think I have to be careful but thank you for letting me know about it. x

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