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Wet (productive) cough

A wet cough is a type of cough where excess phlegm or mucus is produced from your respiratory tract.1 This means that when you cough, you will bring sticky fluid (mucus) up into your mouth.1,2 Because of the phlegm or mucus that comes with this type of cough, we call it a productive cough.1


Wet coughs are often caused by the common cold or flu.2 The cough sounds “wet” because your body is pushing the excess mucus (fluid) out of your nose, throat and lungs.2


Colds and flu often cause congestion (a blocked feeling) in your airways, because of the extra mucus or phlegm that builds up.3 That’s why when you have a wet cough you’ll usually have other symptoms like a runny or snotty nose.2,3 You may also feel a “dripping” sensation at the back of your throat (known as post-nasal drip).2


Find out more about colds and flu, coughs and congestion.

Dry (non-productive) cough

A dry cough is a type of cough where little or no mucus is produced from your respiratory tract.1 It’s also known as a non-productive cough.1


With a dry cough, you won’t bring up mucus into your mouth, but you will usually feel itching, scratching or tickling sensations in your throat, which can trigger coughing fits.1,2,4


Dry coughs often happen because of inflammation or irritation in your respiratory tract.2 This can be caused by an upper respiratory infection (like a cold or flu virus), or by breathing in irritants like dust and smoke.2 Other possible causes of a dry cough include sinusitis, tonsilitis, allergies and asthma.2

  1. Begic E, Begic Z, Dobraca A, et al. Productive cough in children and adolescents – view from primary health care system. Med Arch. 2017;71(1):66-68.
  2. Types of coughs. Healthline. April 23, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2021.
  3. Medical definition of congestion. MedicineNet. Accessed August 4, 2021.
  4. Dicpinigaitis PV, Colice GL, Goolsby MJ, et al. Acute cough: a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Cough. 2009;5:11.
Sidebar References
  1. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 600 Professional information. V1.0 (02/11/2021), approved 26 October 2021 (oral powder) and 02 November 2021 (effervescent tablets).
  2. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 20 mg/ml ORAL SOLUTION Professional information. V1 (07/10/2021), approved 05 October 2021.
  3. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 200 Professional information. V10 (16/08/2022), approved 08 July 2020.


[S1] ACC® 20 mg/ml Oral Solution. Reg. No.: 48/10.3/0261. Composition: Each 1 ml of ACC 20 mg/ml ORAL SOLUTION contains 20 mg acetylcysteine. ATC Code: R05C B01.

[S1] ACC® 200 (effervescent tablets). Reg. No.: 29/10.2.2/0753. Composition: Each ACC 200 effervescent tablet contains: 200 mg acetylcysteine. Pharmacological Classification: A10.3 Medicines acting on the respiratory system – other.

[S1] ACC® 600 (effervescent tablets). Reg. No.: 45/10.3/0229. Composition: Each effervescent tablet contains 600 mg acetylcysteine. [S1] ACC® 600 ORAL POWDER. Reg. No.: 51/10.3/0816. Composition: Each sachet contains 600 mg of acetylcysteine. ATC Code: R05CB01.

For full prescribing information refer to the Sandoz Professional Information approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

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