Side effects of cough medications

If you are dealing with a cold, you may want to pick up some over-the-counter cough medication to help. There is often a full store aisle of cough and cold medication for you to choose from. With any medication, it is always good to know what the potential side effects may be before taking it. Below are some of the side effects you may experience with common cough medications.

Cough-Suppressant Medications

Certain cough medications have ingredients that help to suppress your cough. Common side effects from this type of medication include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and constipation.


Expectorants are medications that work to break up mucus and loosen congestion. Side effects from this type of medication can include nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches and drowsiness.


If you are pregnant, have heart disease, asthma, glaucoma or enlarged prostate, check with your doctor as cough medications can complicate these conditions. Medications also have ingredients to which some people are allergic. Make sure you read the label carefully.

Serious and Life-Threatening Side Effects

Some cough medications may contain ingredients that are habit-forming. It is not recommended to give cough medicine to a young child under 2. Accidental overdoses of cough medicine or reactions to other medications have caused death in rare circumstances.

Cough Medicine Abuse

A scary practice among kids is using cough medicine to get high. This abuse of cough medicine can have serious and deadly consequences. It is important to keep track of any medications your child may be taking. See the KidsHealth link below for more information.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24