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Coughing is one of the most common reasons that people seek medical advice.7(p5) It’s triggered by irritation in the airways, which can be caused by an underlying condition like a cold or respiratory infection.7(p5) A wet (productive) cough is a type of cough caused by too much mucus in your airways.8(p732)
What is mucus? Mucus is a slippery liquid substance produced by your body.9(p1) When it’s produced in normal amounts, it helps to keep your tissues hydrated and to prevent infection.9(p1) However, the mucus your body produces when you’re sick is thicker and stickier than normal.9(p1) Large amounts of this sticky stuff can clog up your airways and make you cough.8(p732),9(p1)
Did you know? Clearing excess phlegm from your lungs can also prevent a more serious infection from developing there.11(p1)
1. Hexal AG. ACC long 600 mg (effervescent tablets). Patient information. February 2020.
2. Hexal AG. ACC 200 mg (powder for oral solution). Patient information. January 2020.
3. Zaitseva OV. Rational choice of mucolytic therapy in treatment of respiratory diseases in children. Russian Medical Journal. 2009;17(19):1217-1221.
4. Sadowska AM. N-Acetylcysteine mucolysis in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2012;6(3):127-135.
5. Aldini G, Altomare A, Baron G, et al. N-acetylcysteine as an antioxidant and disulphide breaking agent: the reasons why. Free Radical Research. 2018;52(7):751-762.
6. Balsamo R, Lanata L, Egan CG. Mucoactive drugs. Eur Respir Rev. 2010 Jun;19(116):127-133.
7. Chung KF, Widdicombe JG, Boushey HA. Cough: causes, mechanisms and therapy. 2003; Chapter 1:3-10.
8. Murata A, Taniguchi Y, Hashimoto Y, et al. Discrimination of productive and non-productive cough by sound analysis. Intern Med. 1998;37:732-735.
9. What is mucus? Learn how to get rid of it. MedicineNet. Accessed May 29, 2022. https://www.medicinenet.com/what_is_mucus/article.htm.
10. How to pronounce acetylcysteine - Google search. Accessed June 10, 2021. https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+pronounce+acetylcysteine&rlz=1C1LOQA_enZA752ZA760&oq=how+to+pronounce+acetylceistine&aqs=chrome.
11. Knowles MR, Boucher RC. Mucus clearance as a primary innate defense mechanism for mammalian airways. J Clin Invest. 2002;109(5):571-577.
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