Skip to main content

Antitussives

What are Antitussives?

Antitussives are medicines that suppress coughing, also known as cough suppressants. Antitussives are thought to work by inhibiting a coordinating region for coughing located in the brain stem, disrupting the cough reflex arc; although the exact mechanism of action is unknown.

However, their use is not without controversy and they should only be considered for dry, irritating coughs that do not involve mucus production. Suppressing productive or mucus-producing coughs caused by some respiratory diseases with antitussives may be hazardous. Many viral coughs are best treated by increasing fluid intake and exposing the airways to humidity.

Many antitussives, including pholcodine, codeine, and dextromethorphan, are derived from opioids. Pholcodine and codeine may cause drowsiness and constipation and codeine may be addictive. Dextromethorphan can increase serotonin levels and may interact with other medicines that also increase serotonin. Benzonatate is an nonnarcotic antitussive that anesthetizes certain receptors located in the breathing passages, reducing the urge to cough.

Although antitussives have been shown to be effective in adults, their effectiveness in children has not been established and their use in children should be discouraged.

List of Antitussives:

View by  Brand | Generic
Drug Name Avg. Rating Reviews
Delsym
Generic name: dextromethorphan
3.3
229 reviews
Tessalon Perles
Generic name: benzonatate
5.5
148 reviews
Delsym 12 Hour Cough Relief
Generic name: dextromethorphan
4.0
32 reviews
Tessalon
Generic name: benzonatate
5.8
30 reviews
Robitussin CoughGels Long-Acting
Generic name: dextromethorphan
3.5
3 reviews
Buckleys Mixture
Generic name: dextromethorphan
5.3
3 reviews
Vicks Formula 44
Generic name: dextromethorphan
5.0
1 review
Vicks Dayquil Cough
Generic name: dextromethorphan
10
1 review
Zonatuss (Pro)
Generic name: benzonatate
10
No reviews
Triaminic Long Acting Cough
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Sucrets Cough
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Silphen DM
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Scot-Tussin Diabetes
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Robafen Cough Liquidgels
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
PediaCare Children's Long-Acting Cough
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Hold
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
ElixSure Cough
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
DexAlone
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Creomulsion
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
Babee Cof
Generic name: dextromethorphan
No reviews
For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).

See Also

Medical conditions associated with antitussives:

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.