WET COUGH2019-04-11T11:49:36+02:00


A wet (productive) cough is a cough that produces mucus or phlegm 2. It is usually chesty and loose and can cause chest pain 1,3 The mucus produced in this type of a cough can be drained down the back of the throat from the nose or sinuses or may have come up from the lungs. If you have a wet cough, you may feel tightness in your chest and you may hear a wheezing sound when breathing 3. A wet cough should not be suppressed because as the coughing action helps clear mucus out of the lungs 2.


This cough produces phlegm or mucus

There may be chest pain associated with the cough7

Your chest may feel tight with loose mucus


Chronic Bronchitis can cause mucus to build up over time, resulting in a chronic infection.

Upper or lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis or TB can cause a productive cough.2

Post-nasal drip: Nasal discharge can drain down the back of the throat and cause a build-up of fluid.8

Smoking, or use of other tobacco products can cause a wet cough or irritation of the lungs.2


A wet cough should not be suppressed but should be encouraged. The coughing action helps prevent the mucus or secretions from pooling in the lungs, which could impair breathing and the ability of the lungs to resist infection.2,3 Cough mixtures for wet coughs either contain a single ingredient, or a combination of ingredients to promote coughing and help make it easier to cough up mucus or phlegm.1,2,7

Below are some options of different cough mixture ingredients which can help relieve a wet cough.


Mucolytics such as bromhexine help make the mucus less thick and sticky and easier to cough up.7


Expectorants such as guaiphenesin help promote expulsion of the mucus from the lungs.1


Relieve a tight chest by relaxing the muscles around the airways, allowing for easier breathing.7


A combination of a mucolytic and a bronchodilator works well for a wet cough.2,7

Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to assist you in choosing the appropriate cough mixture for your condition.