Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines can help relieve symptoms in adults and older children.
They are not recommended for children under 6 years of age. Talk to your provider before giving your child over-the-counter cold and cough medicine that can have serious side effects.
Coughing is the body’s way of removing mucus from the lungs. So use cough syrups only when the cough becomes very painful.
Lozenges or sprays for a sore throat.
Many cough and cold medicines that you buy contain more than one medicine. Read labels carefully to make sure you don’t take too much of any medicine. If you take prescription medicine for another health problem, ask your provider which over-the-counter cold medicine is safe for you.