NHS Dudley Health Economy Medicines Formulary
Home > 3 Respiratory system > 3.9 Cough preparations > 3.9.2 Demulcent and expectorant cough preparations

3.9.2 Demulcent and expectorant cough preparations

General guidance

  • There is little or no data to support the use of expectorants. The concept that they promote expectoration is a myth. At best these products are placebos. Their use is not recommended
  • Demulcent cough preparations are available claimed to soothe dry irritating coughs. However, simple linctus offers a more appropriate alternative to these.
  • Compound cough preparations are available over the counter, the rationale for the use of some of the products is dubious – their use is not recommended.

Recommended drugs

Simple linctus


Drug Traffic Light Key:

Green – On Formulary

Amber – Restricted use, see local guidelines      

Purple – Specialist use/initiation

Red – Non Formulary


Relative Costs Key (where indicated):

£££££ - high

£££ - moderate

£ - low

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