6 Best Medicines for Dry Cough 2018

‘Tis almost the season……that crisp nip appears in the air, leaves begin to turn, we pull out our sweaters.  And then – it happens. We start to cough. And cough and cough and cough.

Whether a result of colds, flu, dry air, allergens or irritants, coughs can be annoying at best and can impair breathing and prevent restful sleep at worst.

Coughing is actually our body’s attempt to get rid of a foreign object or mucus from our upper airway passages and our lungs or to eliminate an irritant that causes a “tickle” in our throat. People who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions NEED to cough. The rest of us prefer to find ways to effectively fight back.

Coughs fall into two categories – productive coughs (a “chesty” cough in which mucus is produced during coughing) and non-productive or dry coughs (no mucus is generated during coughing). For purposes of this guide, we will be talking about and identifying products that relate to dry coughs.

The guide below lists the best medicine for dry cough in several different forms – tablets, balms, syrups and lozenges – meaning there is a great option for everyone.

Top 6 Medicines for Dry Cough Comparison

PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
1. Mucinex DM Maximum Strength 12-Hour Expectorant and Cough Suppressant TabletsTablet$$$$4.7
2. Natural Chest and Nasal Congestion ReliefBalm$$$$4.7
3. Boiron Chestal for Cough SyrupLiquid$$$4.6
4. Mucinex Fast-Max Adult DM Expectorant and Cough Suppressant LiquidLiquid$4.6
5. Organic Silver Lozenges - Soothing Honey with LemonLozenge$4.6
6. Vicks VaposteamLiquid$$4.5

More About Dry Coughs

Dry coughs can sometimes be the result of health problems such as asthma, pneumonia, chronic lung disease or even gastric reflux. If a dry cough continues after other symptoms disappear, or if you have a chronic dry cough when you do not have a cold or the flu, see your healthcare provider immediately to determine the cause and get proper treatment.

In most cases, however, a dry cough accompanies a cold or the flu or is simply the result of irritants such as cigarette smoke and dry heated air. Escape from or eliminate the irritants whenever possible and then choose a best medicine for dry cough product to diminish symptoms and make you feel better.

It is very important to distinguish between general cold medicines – which combine ingredients to treat multiple symptoms – and cough medicines which treat the cough specifically. Never take a cold or flu medicine designed to treat multiple symptoms when you only have a cough.

Among cough medicines, there are expectorants which thin out mucus (associated with a productive cough) and suppressants (also called antitussives) which suppress the cough reflex. Suppressants are the best cough medicine for dry cough.

The products (all suppressants) which are listed in our top 10 guide – along with the reviews of the top 3 – make it easy to select what’s right for you and your family.

Top 3 Best Medicine for Dry Cough Reviews

1. Mucinex DM Cough Suppressant Tablets

This product, which also comes in a regular strength option, starts to work very quickly and a single dose lasts for 12 hours. This is because the tablets are bilayer meaning the various ingredients are delivered in a timed-release manner and the stomach is protected from irritation.

The “DM” in the name is nothing mysterious. It stands for an ingredient called dextromethorphan which is simply a cough suppressant designed specifically for a dry cough.

Be sure to take these tablets with lots and lots of water to achieve maximum benefits.

2. Natural Chest and Nasal Congestion Relief

If you prefer non-medicinal, all-natural choices, this product is for you. Breathe-Ease Balm is used either externally by rubbing on the chest, temples and neck or is placed in your humidifier to push the scent out into the air.

Made from eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and peppermint oils, the scent calms the persistent urge to cough and opens airways. The product can be mixed with a small amount of regular lotion to tone down the scent a bit if you’re using it on children.

As with all topical products, we recommend that you try a small amount on your wrist or arm to test for any reactions you may have to the ingredients before you spread larger amounts on your body.

3. Boiron Chestal for Cough Syrup

Boiron Chestal is a more traditional product in that it is a liquid cough syrup, but it is an all-natural, homeopathic product containing no chemicals and none of the typical medicines found in other over-the-counter options.

Its great-tasting honey flavor and convenient measuring/dosing cup makes it great for kids and, because it is all-natural, it can be taken as often as every 2 hours.