You asked

What's the difference between an expectorant and a cough suppressant?

Understanding the difference between expectorants and cough suppressants, and the risks associated with these over the counter medications, will help you make the right decision for your sick child.

First off, it’s important to know that these medications are no longer prescribed or suggested for children under the age of two. Studies have shown that they can cause side effects that are potentially life threatening. Never give an expectorant or a cough suppressant to a child younger than two.

For children over age two, an expectorant will help to loosen secretions so that the cough is more productive, while a cough suppressant will suppress the need to cough.

For both expectorants and cough suppressants however, there is no solid medical evidence that either are effective. In general, cold remedies, whether they are over the counter or prescribed, cannot cure a cold or even lessen the duration of a cold. These products are only intended to alleviate some of the symptoms of a cold.

Many doctors advise parents to use a vaporiser or humidified to loosen secretions instead of using an expectorant or a cough suppressant.

More questions

Getting norovirus cannot always be avoided, but good hygiene can help limit the spread of the virus...
The first sign of norovirus is usually a abrupt feeling of nausea followed by sick feeling, followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
Norovirus is more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.
There are several types of eczema but Atopic is the most common in children
There are various causes of eczema in children
Here are the symptoms your should look out for if you think your child has eczema
Recommended treatments for your child's eczema
Dust, temperature and pets can all trigger a flare-up of eczema
If your child suffers from eczema, you need to be careful with fabrics and washing their clothes

Latest

Trending

Hello Mama!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device as having browsed MummyPages and serve you better content and ads

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.