Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Evaluation Treatment cough medicine precautions expectorants specialist Home Care cough in adults cough in children warning signs Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Productive Cough Home Care

Home care for cough includes:


For cough due to acid relux try:

For more information:

Productive Cough Cough in Adults

Home treatment of a cough in adults includes:

  • Avoid respiratory irritants, such as pollution, pollen, mold, dust and chemical fumes.
  • Change A/C and furnace filters regularly.
  • Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Drink warm liquids to relieve coughing spasms.
  • Raise the head of your bed at night and sleep on your left side: this minimizes acid reflux.
  • Use throat lozenges.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Cough medications:

Cough medication precautions:
  • A cough can help clear infected mucus from the lungs. Suppressing the cough may reduce your ability to fight the infection.
  • Cough medicine can cause drowsiness. Do not take cough medication if you plan to drive or operate machinery.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Do not take cough medication if you take sedatives or medication for depression.
  • Talk to your doctor before you take cough medicine if you have asthma, COPD, emphysema, heart disease or high blood pressure.

Productive Cough Cough in Children

Home treatment of a cough in children includes:

  • Avoid respiratory irritants, such as pollution, pollen, mold, dust and chemical fumes.
  • Change A/C and furnace filters regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Drink warm liquids to relieve coughing spasms.
  • Use throat lozenges, but do not use them in children under 5 years of age.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Cough medicines:

Dosing Dextromethorphan
Childs WeightDextromethorphan Dose
22 lb (10 kg)5 mg every 8 hrs
33 lb (15 kg)7.5 mg every 8 hrs
44 lb (20 kg)10 mg every 8 hrs
55 lb (25 kg)12.5 mg every 8 hrs
66 lb (30 kg)15 mg every 8 hrs
88 lb (40 kg)20 mg every 8 hrs
110 lb (50 kg)25 mg every 8 hrs
132 lb-adult (60 kg)30 mg every 8 hrs

Cough medication precautions:
  • Contact your doctor before using cough medicine in a child less than 6 years old.
  • A cough can help clear infected mucus from the lungs. Suppressing the cough may reduce the child's ability to fight the infection.
  • Cough medicine can cause drowsiness.
  • Talk to the doctor before you give cough medicine to a child who has asthma, lung disease, heart disease or kidney disease.

Productive Cough Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a cough and any of the following:

Continue to Productive Cough Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Productive Cough References
  1. Chang AB, Asher MI. A review of cough in children. J Asthma. 2001 Jun;38(4):299-309. [11456383]
  2. Irwin RS, Curley FJ. The treatment of cough. A comprehensive review. Chest. 1991 Jun;99(6):1477-84. [2036833]
  3. Schroeder K, Fahey T. Should we advise parents to administer over the counter cough medicines for acute cough? Systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Arch Dis Child. 2002 Mar;86(3):170-5. [11861232]
  4. Schroeder K, Fahey T. Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of over the counter cough medicines for acute cough in adults. BMJ. 2002 Feb 9;324(7333):329-31. [11834560]
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