Guaifenesin, the only medicinal product in common use as an expectorant, is an ingredient in many cough medicines, such as Anti-Tuss, Dristan Cold & Cough, Guaifed, GuaiCough, and some Robitussin products.
Because the value of guaifenesin is uncertain, while the adverse effects have been documented, parents should consider using alternatives to guaifenesin-containing cough remedies for children.
Some products that contain guaifenesin are available only with a physician's prescription; others can be bought without a prescription.
There are two drugs that are routinely used to clear mucus from the respiratory tract: guaifenesin and acetylcysteine.
However, cough medicines that contain guaifenesin may contain other ingredients that do interact with foods or drugs.
Guaifenesin is not meant to be used for coughs associated with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or smoking.
Guaifenesin may be taken by mouth and is an ingredient in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.
Guaifenesin should not be given to children under the age of two years unless directed by a physician.
There is some dispute, even among experts, about whether guaifenesin is an effective expectorant.
Guaifenesin and terpin hydrate are the primary ingredients in most over-the-counter expectorants.