How to Get Rid of a Bad Cough

How to Get Rid of a Bad Cough

After being sick with the flu or chest infection, for example, some patients may experience a persistent cough that lasts beyond other symptoms of the original illness. Here are some hints and tips to help ease a bad cough:


The main goal is to help prevent irritation of the airways which leads to coughing.

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Hot lemon and honey drinks
  3. Steam showers
  4. Avoiding irritants e.g. perfumes, dust, aerosols

There are also some medications that can help ease a cough:

Medicine  How it Works
E.g. strepsils, soothers, halls
Help to lubricate the throat preventing irritation.
Hard boiled sweets can have a similar effect.
E.g. Benylin Dry Cough
Suppresses the urge to cough
Suppresses the urge to cough

**if you have a productive cough (i.e. coughing up phlegm) it is not advised to use cough suppressants**


A cough can last up to 3 weeks after all other symptoms have resolved. If your cough is persisting longer than 3 weeks it is time to make an appointment with your doctor.



  1. Rutter, P (2013). Community Pharmacy: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: Churchhill Livingstone Elsevier. P2-11.
  2. Addison B, Brown A, Edwards R and Gray G (2012). Minor Illness or Major Disease. 5th ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press. P47-58.
  3. HSE-Cough


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