What is the best otc cough medicine for instant relief

Many environmental factors and the common cold can be behind the cough you generally have. The one caused by these factors is not very long-lasting and eventually goes away, with or without medicine. Some people prefer not to take any medicines immediately, but those who do, best otc cough medicine are there to help you with instant relief.


Once you take the medicine, you will have to give it some time to show effective results. Usually, the dose will work almost immediately, within a few hours, but if your cough remains prolonged, then there could be a myriad of reasons behind this. Apart from the common cold, coughing could be a symptom of a more serious health issue that must be checked. Below are some of the common and not-so-common reasons behind coughing.



We have heard and seen all about the coronavirus over the past year and a half. And cough is one of its main symptoms among fever and congestion etc. Coughing is also one of the primary causes of the spread. Apart from the vaccine, we have no other medicinal cure for the virus as of yet, but we can treat each of its symptoms individually such as cough and fever.


Bronchitis is a disease that affects the passage of air to and from your lungs. The bronchial tubes that carry the oxygen to your lungs are inflamed when you have bronchitis and this causes shortness of breath and cough. This disease can be both acute and chronic in case you don’t get it treated and it becomes prolonged. The cough due to this issue is severe and can cause fatigue in your body.

Respiratory tract infection

Any virus that enters your body through the mouth or nose can affect your respiratory system. It is also another name for the common cold that is a viral infection that is not very serious but seems intense when you have severe symptoms. It can cause a severe cough if your body is not able to rid of the germs as it usually does.


And lastly, the common influenza virus that we laymen call flu. It is common because it does not have any deadly effects, therefore no concrete cure or vaccine. The vaccine you get for it is not 100% effective and eventually, you or someone you know gets it, which could be transmitted to others. The viral infection affects your respiratory system just as it does your nasal cavity and overall body temperature among other symptoms that you may encounter.

These were the few causes that can cause cough among an array of rationals. Regardless of everything, if you have a cough and are looking for medicine, you will find an answer below.

Types of cough and cough medicines

Before you settle on the name of the best otc cough medicine, you should know what kind of cough you exactly have. And what kind of solution you are looking for because some specific medicines address specific problems of an issue. There are two types of cough – dry and chesty, and to counter it, there are three types of cough medicines –  expectorants, suppressants, and combination cough products.


Chesty cough

A chesty cough is coughing up mucus continuously. It can have a stuffy nose as another symptom of whatever condition you have. But mostly it makes breathing difficult, and the constant cough can frustrate you. The medicines in this case help you clear out your nose and chest of the excess mucus, and provide relief. They are called expectorants; the ingredients inside them help your body break the mucus that is choking up your breathing tubes.

Dry cough

This is another type of cough people generally have when they have a chest infection. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of the germs causing the infection. But it is not any less frustrating than a chesty cough. It can be even harsher on your throat as it dries up the insides due to faster and frequent air passing through your bronchial tubes. In this case, your body needs help slowing down the cough, therefore a suppressant is recommended by doctors. It helps bring down the cough, and how frequently you cough.

Lastly, apart from these specific issues and their medicines, there are Combination products that have more than one active ingredient to address multiple issues. They also have ingredients that might be for other relative symptoms in diseases that have cough as one of its symptoms. You need to make sure you follow through with the ingredients labeled on the medicine you are taking. The same goes for cough drops, many people take them for sore throat.

As of now, you know the three different medications that you can take for coughs and which one must be taken for a particular type of cough. However, one major question that is yet to be answered is what is the best cough medicine.

The best cough medicine

It should be obvious enough by now that giving you one name was never the intention. Because your symptoms define what treatment you require, and no one medicine could do that. Additionally, contrary to the majority of cases of cough which are not that serious, you could be suffering from a serious disease with cough as one symptom. This could be anything from Covid-19, Bronchitis to Tuberculosis. One of the ways to ensure this is by noticing if your cough goes away within a week. If it pertains to more than 7 days, you should get it checked. Other than that, here are a few ways in which you can pick up the best OTC cough medicine for you:

  • Do not ignore the ingredients in the medicine box. This is a basic instruction that you should follow with anything that you are consuming internally or externally. Match them with your symptoms to ensure you have the right one.
  • Read and research for side effects for any of the ingredients within the medicine, especially with combination medicines that have more than one active ingredient.
  • While using the medicine, make sure you have the exact right dose that you need. People are often careless with this one and it is not healthy at all.

This will hopefully help you find the best otc cough medicine according to the symptoms of your cough. If you think it is getting severe, or if it stays longer than 7 days, don’t take too long to get it checked by a doctor.

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