Table 1

Modes of action in groups of OTC cough medicines

AntitussivesCentrally acting opioid derivates or peripherally acting agents16
MucolyticsAiming to decrease the viscosity of bronchial secretions, making them easier to clear through coughing17
Antihistamineā€”decongestant combinationsCombine histamine H1 receptor antagonists and Ī± adrenoceptor agonists which cause vasoconstriction of mucosal blood vessels18
Other drug combinationsFixed drug combinations using different ingredients
AntihistaminesHistamine H1 receptor antagonists