Can anyone tell me how long it takes for carbocisteine to work, please?

My dad isn't on the internet so I've joined this site to try and get some answers to help my dad. The nurse from BLF advised my mum to phone the doctors and ask for mucodyne (we got carbocisteine instead) Dad has taken 4 tablets so far but is having difficulty catching his breath because of all the mucus in his throat. Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.

26 Replies

  • Hello Kenneth - your dad is one lucky guy to have a son willing to join a site to assist him, I've been on Mucodyne capsules - the brand name for Carbocisteine - for a year now, they do help a lot in thinning the mucus so make it easier to bring up. It was about a month before I noticed any difference, a word or warning though sadly it does not work for everyone and on occasions if I have an infection it does not always work for me :-(

    You're sure to get others on here that will offer advice on how to relieve stubborn mucus.

    Regards to your dad.



  • Hi I managed to get a potion made from grapeseed oil with added essential oils from an aromatherapist/multi talented & trained healer. It contains the pure essential oils: Yarrow. Tea Tree. Eucalyptus. Clary Sage & Pine. I rubbed this on the balls of my feet at night& wore socks, rubbed into chest & back. Can also inhale in hot water with towel over head or add to a bath. After being very ill with pneumonia following RSV & Asthma. I am currently only taking a low dose of carbocisteine. Will see how it goes. Hope this helps anyone.

  • Welcome Kenneth. I use the carbocisteine tablets and found it took a few weeks for them to make a noticable difference. Sorry, can't advise on the mucus - but someone will. x

  • Thank you Karen and auntymary for answering, at least we have some sort of time scale now. We've found that ginger helps to open 'the tubes' and I made some stem ginger in ginger syrup, it's powerful stuff but dad loves it. We also have a ginger drink which dad has warm, it all helps but the mucus is so thick that we needed medical intervention.

    Thank you again and, btw, Karen, my name is Jane, it's my dad who's the Kenneth but you weren't to know. x

  • if your dad has trouble swallowing tablets ask his doctor for the syrup its much easier to take and just as potent.get your dad to practise the huff and puff method to shift the mucus,it really does help.

  • Thanks fishtail, we will bear that in mind for the future.

    Kind Regards,

    Jane ~(kenneth 74)

  • I have both the capsules and syrup ,On my bad days i use the sryup it seem to act a lot quicker than the capsules

  • Hi Karen, sorry to read ur dad is having difficulty. My dad has the mucodyne syrup, he said he finds it better than the capsules, just ask your surgery to change it for his next prescription if he would like to try it instead. They are good, but like the others have said, when it gets sooo stubborn there isn't alot around other than home remedies. Can you tell me how you make the stem ginger drink for your dad please, i'd like to try that for dad too?

  • Hi tanyamarie, thank you for replying to my question. I make stem ginger in syrup for my dad and I get the ginger drink for him from Asda, it's in a glass bottle and is made from natural ginger. The have it on special offer at the moment, it's carbonated but my dad warms it through and it makes a lovely warming drink. Another idea which has helped is a warm honey and lemon drink, honey is soothing and healing and lemon helps to cut through the mucus. The only consolation I have with all this is that my dad would be worse if he didn't use home remedies. I also bought him a vaporizer from Amazon which is like a little steaming chimney and helps to open the airways especially when he adds eucalyptus to the water. I promise everyone who reads this that if I find any more helpful remedies, I will share them.

    Kind regards,

    Jane. (kenneth74)

  • great tips, thanks.

  • Marvelous, thankyou!

    A really good tip I picked up on from someone on here was that orange juice is not that good if you have terrible probs with mucus and guess what? My dad used to drink gallons of it, thinking the Vitamin c would help etc. Well since I told him, both mam n dad have said what a difference so he now has other juices instead. I will defo get the ginger and try that xx

  • Thank you you have some very interesting tips Jane. Fresh root Ginger mashed & half a squeezed lemon in boiled water with added good honey is marvelous for alkalising the body. It helps digestive system & mucus too & the honey is anti- inflammatory. Also drinking a correct amount of water dilutes mucus. I do this all daily too. I try & use organic lemons & ginger whenever possible. It all helps.

  • Eucalyptus. Lovely smell.

  • Carbocyteine has helped me enormously and I now know if I have missed a dose. Also a nasal spray has helped. x

  • Hi Kenneth I take carbostiene syrup and find it helpful if taken on a regular basis I also mix Cider vinegar and manuka honey and find thjs helps with a tickly cough there are some herbel cough sweets from Holland and Barrett called Ricola that help when I m out and abiut if you shop around you can probably find them cheaper Wellman 2

  • Hi Wellman2, thank you for your reply. Every little helps. Another cough remedy we have found is to put Vick's vapor rub on the soles of the feet, cover with socks and go to bed. It really helps to stop the coughing. My poor dad is now surrounded with lotions and potions. He loves slippery elm at night made with milk as this helps to loosen the mucus and aid sleep but we have found out that dairy products make more mucus (soya milk is also a no no) so I found some slippery elm lozenges on Amazon.

    Kind regards,

    Jane (kenneth74)

  • Yes you're right the dairy products make mucus worse. I have proper porridge cooked in water & add almond or coconut milk & honey it's delicious & dairt free. Interesting about the slippery elm. Those potions are veye real medicine & nourishing food😊

  • Hi all, on the subject of congestion, coughing and mucus (lovely) another good recipe is:

    Cut a lemon into thick slices, cover with water and simmer until soft. Use a potato masher while lemon is simmering to squeeze all the goodness out of the lemons. Add sugar and honey then strain into a jug. If the mixture is too strong you can add more hot water. If anyone has a cold, add a glug of brandy as this will help to 'sweat' it out (drink an hour before bedtime and take some paracetamol just before you go to sleep, or you could do vice versa just leave about an hour's gap between taking the juice and the paracetamol if you have brandy in with your juice.) Just the honey, lemon and sugar juice will help to cut through mucus and soothe the throat.

    Hope this helps anyone?

    Warm regards,

    Jane (kenneth74)

  • Sounds fab Jane, especially the brandy bit! My granny used to swear by onion slices spread out on a plate, with brown sugar sprinkled over and just barely covered with hot water. Cover and leave overnight and in the morning remove the onion slices and drink the residue.

    love, FF x

  • Hi Fairyfootsteps, I've also heard of your granny's remedy but don't think I could stomach drinking the onion juice!! ;( My dad swears by the ginger concoction though. Jane x

  • Hi Kenneth,

    My GP agreed to prescribe Guaifenesin, after Carbocysteine didnt seem to help me. Guaifenesin is actually Robitussin, which can easily be bought over the counter. It really helps thin my mucus, although, I understand that it wouldnt work for everybody. Might be worth buying a bottle to try ? For me, it started to help almost immediately.

    Good luck for the future.


  • Hi I'm a little new to all this but after reading all your tips and tricks I've just went out and bought most of the items lemons ginger ricotta sweets, my father has been suffering for two years with a horrible green mucus at the back of his throat.. He has had various tests and they say it's not in his lungs.. He is 78 and a keen bowler and a little overweight. But otherwise fit and healthy. But this horrible mucus and cough is really getting him down.. Even affecting his sleep now.. I'm hoping these home remidies may help. He is on 6 carbosictiene a day.. But just doesn't seem to work and visiting the doctor doesn't help either.. I just want so much to try and ease this for him if I can or at least be able to cough to rid the mucus.. Any more help or remidies I'd be great full.. I was so happy to read all these comments.. Hopefully more to follow.. Thanks

  • I am using càrbo but sinçe ihad to take tramadol all I do is cough up the mucus occasional dry cough

  • I also use 1 tsp of organic Turmeric, or double the fresh root & 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger, root & a pinch of black pepper. Bring to the boil & simmer for 30mins. Then stand for 30mins & strain. I drink a medium glassful with a third tsp of organic coconut oil dissolved in it & a tsp of honey. I sometimes squeeze half a lemon into it for extra effect. I find this good for inflammation & mucus control.

  • CAUTION! Turmeric should not be used without professional advice for those taking warfarin or other blood thinning drugs, as it does have an anti coagulent effect.!

  • Hi Jane,

    I was sorry to hear about your father’s problem. I know what he is going through. I have been given many thins but for me they have bot worked. My problem with phlegm is not as bad as your dad’s. I was given Carbocisteine, but it did not work for me. You will certainly find other members here for whom it did work.

    For me, I find that gargling with hot water with some salt (1/4 tsp) really shifts the phlegm/mucus (thick and sticky) very quickly and then coughing helps to expel it. He should gargle with this as often as he feels it necessary. I always gargle before my meals and first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

    Does he get a lot of phlegm in the morning when he wakes up? If this is the case, then I would suggest he should raise himself up in bed with a few pillows as this will reduce “post nasal drip” which is what causes the problem.

    I also find that Original Halls Mentholiptus Extra Strong is useful in helping to make the phlegm less sticky and then easy to shift with the gargle. Another thing that is useful is to make a hot drink with Honey (3 tsp) and Lemon (2 tsp) with a pinch of salt - I drink this in the morning. You can make an instant Ginger Drink or Ginger and Lemon Drink, manufactured by Gold Kili, which you can buy on eBay. I am not sure here whether I am doing the right thing by naming the manufacturers of drinks. Twinning also make a Ginger and Lemon drink which is good.

    I wish you all the best and do sincerely hope that your dad’s problem with phlegm/mucus is resolved quickly.

    All the best and warm regard to both.


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