If you are looking to get rid of mucus from a cold or flu virus, you should choose a medication that contains an expectorant. According to the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinic's Health Topics website, expectorants should be used instead of cough suppressants if you have a mucus-producing cold. Expectorants loosen the mucus to allow for you to cough it out. Getting rid of the mucus relieves any congestion you may be experiencing.
Mucinex contains an ingredient known as guaifenesin, which is a medication approved by the FDA to loosen and thin out the mucus in your chest. Mucinex comes in tablet form with two layers. The first layer instantly releases medicine into your body while the second layer is an extended release formula that lasts up to 12 hours. When ingesting the expectorant guaifenesin, your coughs bring up more mucus from the chest and remove it from the body. You are instructed by the manufacturer to take a dose every 12 hours. Mucinex also manufactures versions for children and types that contain nasal decongestants along with the expectorant. Mucinex contains 600mg of guaifenesin.
Coricidin Hbp W/Expectorant Cough Suppressant Chest Congestion & Cough
This product contains 200mg of guaifenesin along with 10mg of the cough suppressant medication dextromethorphan hydrobromide. This formula does not contain any decongestants and is marketed specifically to individuals that suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure patients are often advised to avoid cold medications with decongestants. The manufacturer advises that adults take two of the liquid gel capsules every four to six hours.
Vicks Formula 44 Chesty Cough
This liquid cough medication from Vicks loosens phlegm and thins out secretions to get rid of mucus. This cough medicine contains 20mg of dextromethorphan to stop the cough and 200mg of guaifenesin to make coughs productive and get rid of the mucus. The manufacturer directs that you take 1 tbsp. every four hours.