The Medicine cabinet: Cough medicine: Pharmaceutical Ingredients

The Medicine cabinet Cough medicine Pharmaceutical IngredientsThe Medicine cabinet: Cough medicine: Pharmaceutical Ingredients

There are two kinds of cough medicine, one that promotes discharge of phlegm from the lungs, the other to suppress and unproductive cough caused by and irritating tickle at the back to the throat.

  1. Chesty cough expectorant

Ingredients are:

Guanifencin, Treacle, Liquid glucose ,Sodium Meta bisulphite, Guanifencin is the active ingredient, liquid glucose is the solvent and accounts for most of syrup, treacle acts to sweeten the cough mixture to make it more palatable, sodium Meta bisulphite acts as a preservative.

  1. Another popular expectorant cough mixture contains Guanifencin. This product can be bought over the counter as pholeodine linctus and it will suppress a tickly cough. It is also available in a form suitable for children:

Pholcodine , Maltitol, Citric acid, Hydroxyethyl cellulose, Glycerol, sodium benzoate, Potassium acesulfame

Pholcodine is the active ingredient and while it is based on morphine. It has neither the painkilling not the euphoric effects of the opiate. It targets the coughing reflex. It has a bitter taste, hence the need to add the artificial sweetener potassium acesulfame.

Citric acid has a pleasing fruity acid tang and is naturally present in lemons and limes.

Glycerol dissolves the Pholcodine, which is not very soluble in water.

Potassium acesulfame is and artificial sweetener that is soluble in glycerol and unaffected by acids and ideal for product with a long shelf life.

Maltitol has laxative properties whereas pholcodine can be constipating. Although it is a sweet tasting sugar aclcohol molecule, maltitole does not cause tooth decay.

Hydroxyethyl cellulose is a thickinging agent that alos acts as laxative.

Sodium benzoate acts as a preservative and is an effective anti bacterial and antifungal agent. It keeps it linctus free of microbial contamination.

Author: vinita bhandari


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