In the season of flu and colds, I am frequently asked for advice as to what type of medicine one should use to alleviate their symptoms. There are numerous options on the market, but here we’re going to compare two of the most popular over-the-counter medications: Delsym vs Robitussin.
Surely, one of the worst experiences is having to stay at home, sick and miserable. That is why people often ask, ‘What is the best cough medicine available?’, ‘Are there any differences between the various products on the market?’, ‘Do the over-the-counter cough medicines work as well as prescribed ones?’ and so on.
If you’ve been wondering the same, you’re in the right place! The following information should help you get the answers you need.
Types of Cough Medicine
To start with, you should know that there are three different types of cough medicine out there:
- Cough suppressants
- Oral expectorants
- Topical (externally applied) drugs
Now, to assure you get what you actually need, you should ask yourself whether your cough is productive or not. Answering that question will make it easier for you to get the medicine that will have the best effect on you.
Productive vs Nonproductive Cough
A productive cough, also known as wet or chesty cough, is when your body produces excessive amounts of mucus. You might also feel congested and have a ‘tight’ chest. Dry cough, on the other hand, doesn’t produce mucus, but is equally as unpleasant.
The most common cause for both is respiratory tract infection, such as a cold or flu.
Delsym vs Robitussin — How to Choose
For many people, there are two tried-and-true alternatives: Delsym vs Robitussin. Which one you choose, however, will depend on the type of cough you have.
Delsym is an over-the-counter cough suppressant, commonly used when you have dry, hacky cough. Cough suppressants block the cough reflex, resulting in a long-lasting (12-hour) relief. You can buy it in the form of a syrup, spray, tablet, and lozenge (cough drop).
One of the benefits of choosing Delsym is that you don’t have to constantly re-dose throughout the day. Only 2 doses per day relieve the cough for 24 hours. Additionally, Delsym has a single active ingredient – dextromethorphan, which is a plus because it limits the possibility of interaction with other drugs. Both adults and children (over the age of 4) can take it.
For productive cough, on the other hand, the usual approach is taking a medicine that contains guaifenesin. Guaifenesin works by thinning and loosening the mucus in your airways, thus clearing congestion and helping you breathe easier. It is important to mention that when dealing with a productive cough, you generally do not want to use a cough suppressant, like Delsym. This is due to the fact that coughing up mucus is your body’s natural way to clear the airways.
Robitussin is a common guaifenesin-containing cough medicine. You will find it in syrup and tablet forms. Furthermore, it is an inexpensive solution, and can be used by children (12 and up) and adults. However, make sure you drink plenty of fluids when taking Robitussin because they help break up mucus and clear the congestion.
This article was a simple, yet informative breakdown of cough therapy. It is meant to give you a general idea and help you decide which medication to opt for. However, there are many additional factors that you should take into consideration. These include: conflicting medical conditions, ongoing treatment, age restrictions, pregnancy, etc.
The fact that both Delsym and Robitussin are over-the-counter medications does not mean you should pay less attention to things like dosage, frequency of use, etc. ‘Over-the-counter’ is not equal to less effective or less capable, so be responsible, especially if you’re a parent and are treating your child.
Note that when using any type of medication, the dosage is key. Always use a dosing cup and carefully follow the dosage directions on the package label. If no dosing cup is provided with the medication, ask your pharmacist for one. Using a household spoon is not a good idea because you may get the measures off.
If any side effects or symptoms of an allergic reaction arise, you should stop taking the drug and contact your doctor or pharmacist. In fact, if you have any questions related to your condition or the medication you’re supposed to take, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Remember; being informed is the key to good health!