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Benylin Cough Medicines

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 3 minutes read

Coughs can be irritating, uncomfortable and, since COVID-19, can make everyone feel a bit socially unacceptable.

When you have a cough, it can be difficult to know which product is the best option for you to relieve the discomfort. Coughs can either be productive (chesty or wet) or non-productive (dry). A productive cough is one where you bring up phlegm (mucus). Whereas a non-productive cough is dry and can cause a tickly feeling, and is not associated with bringing up phlegm.

Benylin is a medicine brand. They offer lots of different cough medicine products you can buy from your pharmacy. Below we will look at the common ingredients used in them and their uses.

It is important to mention that although many people find cough medicines to be beneficial, there is not much scientific evidence to support their effectiveness over other brands.

Doctor’s advice

Guaifenesin: Triple Therapy

Many Benylin chesty cough medicine contains guaifenesin, a type of cough medication known as an expectorant used to treat chesty or productive coughs. A build-up of thick mucus in your airways can be one of the causes of a chesty cough. Your respiratory system produces mucus every day that helps protect and lubricate your airways. However, during viral and bacterial infections such as chest infections, colds and flu, your respiratory system can produce too much mucus, leading to an annoying productive cough.  If the phlegm is different in colour, it is a strong indication of a chest infection.

Guaifenesin works through a triple therapy; loosening the mucus on your chest, helping bring up anything on the chest, and soothing the throat. This makes it easier to cough any mucus up. Guaifenesin is suitable for adults and children aged six and above.


Benylin cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan is used for dry and tickly coughs. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant (antitussive). It may stop you from coughing by suppressing brain activity responsible for the normal cough reflex.

Dextromethorphan is suitable for adults and children aged twelve and above. However, it can cause dependence if you take it for too long. Therefore, use should only be short-term. If you are dependent on dextromethorphan, you will feel unwell when you go without the medication. Speak to you doctor if you have used dextromethorphan and has not made a difference.

Glycerol and Sucrose

Glycerol and sucrose work as demulcents, medicines that forms a soothing coat over the lining of the throat, which reduces the coughing impulse and relieves any associated pain and discomfort in the throat. Some Benylin formulations will contain these ingredients. They are simpler and have a better safety profile, so are seen more in children's formulations. They can help with dry and tickly coughs and are useful for children who can’t have other cough medicines.


Diphenhydramine can be found in both dry and chesty Benylin cough formulations.

Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine that helps you go to sleep. This can be very useful if your cough is keeping you awake at night. Antihistamines work by stopping histamine binding to its target sites in your body. The chemical structure of sedating antihistamines allows them to enter the brain through what is known as the blood-brain barrier. This is why they cause drowsiness.

Diphenhydramine is thought to help dry up mucus in the nose which can help with coughing as this can stop mucus from dripping down the back of the throat. Diphenhydramine may also have a cough suppressant effect, stopping you from coughing by suppressing brain activity responsible for the normal cough reflex. This is only found behind the counter, so it will require a conversation with your pharmacist if this is your first time using it.

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Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
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