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Expectorant prescriptions available online

Learn how expectorants can help clear mucus and phlegm with a consultation from one of our board-certified doctors online. Get a new prescription or refill for expectorants from a top-rated doctor online.

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Online same-day doctor appointment booking

Insurance accepted but not required

Prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy*

*Prescriptions provided at the doctor’s discretion.

Most major insurance plans accepted

Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less. Paying without insurance? New patient visits are $129, and follow-ups are only $99 for members.

Don’t see your provider listed? Email [email protected]  or call  (888) 564-4454  to talk to a PlushCare specialist.

3 simple steps to getting expectorants online 

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book an appointment to discuss expectorants.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your doctor online regarding expectorants.

See a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

Pick up your expectorants.

We can send expectorants to any local pharmacy.

Expectorants pricing details

How pricing works

To get expectorants online, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free

First visit


For all visits

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance



First month free

First visit


Repeats only $99

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129 and follow-ups are only $99 for active members.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

About expectorants

Expectorants are medications designed to thin out mucus, primarily by adding more water to the mucus. Some expectorants are also intended to improve the productivity of coughing, which helps to get more mucus out.

They’re often prescribed to help treat excessive mucus production, especially in cases where a person has respiratory tract infections, but they’re used for other conditions as well. Some patients with a chronic cough or bronchitis may also benefit from using an expectorant. There are two main types of prescription expectorants.

What expectorants treat

The most common condition treated with expectorants is excessive respiratory secretions. The medication helps relieve chest congestion and is often part of combination medications designed to serve as cold remedies. The drugs are designed to increase the water content in mucus. When the body produces mucus in excessive amounts, it can cause mucus accumulation in the airways, sinuses, and several other areas. This can make breathing difficult and lead to a chronic cough during illness.

Other conditions are also treated with expectorants. In some cases, respiratory tract infections are treated with this cough suppressant. The medication will not treat acute respiratory infections but help produce a more productive cough in these cases. The medication may also help to reduce chronic mucus hypersecretion, especially in people with stable chronic bronchitis and similar conditions.

There are also several cases where expectorants form part of flu medications. This can help to reduce the chest congestion that people experience with the flu and even the common cold.

The main idea behind cough medicine is to help reduce the thickness of phlegm and mucus. The medication works on mucus in the lungs, as well as in the throat. When the mucus is thick, it is difficult to cough it out. This can also cause difficulty breathing in some cases. Expectorants are available to help thin out the mucus, which means the mucus is easier to come out when the person coughs.

Types of expectorants available online

The two main types of expectorant medications are called guaifenesin and potassium iodide.

  • Guaifenesin

    Guaifenesin is a type of generic ingredient that is used in a large number of cough syrups and other cold medicines. This ingredient is an expectorant that primarily assists in clearing out the mucus that accumulates in the respiratory system.

    There are prescription and over-the-counter medicines that use guaifenesin as an active ingredient. Prescription options generally have a higher ingredient concentration, which may produce a more powerful effect. This is useful in cases where the patient has a more severe level of chest congestion and accumulated mucus in the chest.

    Guaifenesin is sometimes used in combination with other medications. For example, if you have a respiratory infection caused by bacteria, additional antibiotics may also be used. Guaifenesin helps to relieve chest congestion, while antibiotics fight against bacterial infection.

    Examples of medications that contain guaifenesin:

    • Xpect

    • Mucinex

    • Mucinex Maximum Strength

    • Siltussin

    • Robitussin Chest Congestion

    • Mucus Relief

    • Organidin NR

  • Potassium iodide

    Another common expectorant that medications use is called potassium iodide. This ingredient works similarly to other types of expectorants. It also loosens the mucus that sits in the chest and the throat. Additionally, cough medicine with potassium iodide also helps to thin the mucus.

    Potassium iodide is often used in cases where the patient has breathing problems that may be attributed to a medical problem. For example, people with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma may experience difficulty breathing when there is mucus in their throat. This type of expectorant has been shown to work effectively in these cases. It relieves chest congestion and reduces the breathing difficulties caused by the thick mucus.

    There are also some cases where potassium iodide is used for other purposes. For example, the medication may be administered to help reduce the risk of radioactive iodine entering the thyroid gland. When radioactive iodine enters this butterfly-shaped gland, it could lead to problems with the thyroid gland's functions.

    Examples of brand-name medications that use potassium iodide include:

    • SSKI

    • Pima

    • ThyroShield

    • Iosat

How expectorants work

While there are different types of expectorants on the market, the primary purpose and the way they work remain similar. A healthcare professional will prescribe an expectorant if the patient has thick mucus in their lungs or throat.

Different mechanisms are used by these medications to thin out the mucus that has accumulated in these areas. Some of these medications work by adding extra water to the mucus. This causes the mucus to become thinner, which ensures it is easier to loosen from the airway muscles, throat, and from inside the lungs.

When the mucus is thin, it is also easier to expel when you cough. This helps to bring out the mucus during coughing, which then reduces the effect that the mucus has on your breathing.

  • Side effects of expectorants

    When taken as prescribed, expectorants are generally well tolerated. However, they can still cause some side effects.

    The more common side effects of expectorants include:

    • Drowsiness and dizziness

    • Nausea

    • Vomiting

    • Restlessness

    • Nervousness

    It is important to note that a single expectorant ingredient in cough medicine is unlikely to cause any serious side effects. The risk of side effects greatly increases when you decide to use a combination expectorant. Mucinex M and Robitussin DM are two good examples of commonly used combination expectorants.

    In rare cases, expectorants may cause serious side effects.

    Patients with existing high blood pressure should be careful when they use certain types of expectorants. For example, drugs like Mucaphed contain the active ingredient phenylephrine, along with expectorant compounds. This ingredient may cause a further increase in blood pressure levels.

    Patients should also ensure you understand if they are allergic to any ingredients used in these formulas. An allergic reaction can cause hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, and several other adverse effects.

  • Expectorant risks

    Expectorants are generally safe, but there are some risks if you have other medical conditions or take certain medications.

    Before you take a prescribed expectorant, be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions or issues:

    • Currently pregnant

    • Breastfeeding a newborn

    • Have high blood pressure

    • Operate heavy machinery

    You should also consider the fact that some of these medicines include ingredients that act as pain relievers. In this case, do not combine the use of the medicine with additional pain reliever drugs. This can make certain side effects, such as drowsiness, worse.

  • Expectorant drug interactions 

    When you begin a new medication, make sure to tell your doctor about any other medications, supplements, or herbs you’re taking.

    Do not take different types of expectorants together unless specifically advised by your healthcare professional. You also have to ensure you do not combine natural expectorants with medical ones. This can also lead to excessive working action, which can produce side effects.

    Be careful when taking other medications, including natural supplements, along with certain expectorants. There are some expectorants that can lead to high blood pressure. If a natural supplement or over-the-counter medicine also has a similar effect, your blood pressure levels may rise more significantly.

PlushCare online expectorants ratings and reviews

Our online doctors have treated over 550,000 patients.

Expectorants you can get online

    • Mucus Relief

    • Organidin NR

    • Siltussin

    • Xpect

    • Mucinex

    • Mucinex DM

    • Robitussin Chest Congestion

Expectorant FAQs

  • How should I take expectorants?

    Many of the expectorants that are available can be taken with or without food, but you do need to consider other ingredients that the medication you use includes. Some ingredients in these formulas may cause irritation to the lining of your stomach. In this case, you may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea if you do not take the medication with some food. Many of these products come in the form of syrup.

    Make sure you understand how much of the expectorant you should take. Use a medical cup to help you measure out an exact dose. This will help to ensure you do not take more of the medication than prescribed, which can raise the risk of drug interactions, as well as side effects associated with the ingredients. If the medication makes you feel drowsy, do not take it before driving or when you need to operate heavy and dangerous machinery.

  • Who shouldn’t take expectorants?

    Expectorants are effective, but some people should avoid certain formulas that contain these ingredients. It is often the other ingredients that cause more serious side effects. For example, a person with high blood pressure should avoid the use of expectorant formulas that contain phenylephrine. This ingredient can further raise blood pressure levels. You should also not take an expectorant if you notice that it makes you feel drowsy during the day. This is especially important if you regularly drive.

  • How long does it take for expectorants to work?

    The type of expectorant and other ingredients that the manufacturer of the medical uses will all play a role in determining how long it takes for the drug to work. Most people report improvements in their symptoms within a period of one hour after taking the expectorant. Some of these medications may work faster, but there are also some options that may take a bit longer before you can really feel that they are working. If you find that the medication takes too long to work, you can consider using a saline nasal spray after taking the expectorant. This may sometimes reduce the time it takes for your mucus to become loose and thin.

  • What should I avoid with expectorants?

    You should not combine expectorants with other medications that can cause drug interactions with the ingredients. This can lead to more severe side effects. You may experience severe dizziness if you combine different medications that contain expectorants as active ingredients.

  • Do expectorants make you cough more?

    Generally, you are likely to notice an increase in coughing after you use an expectorant. This is because the medication helps to promote a productive cough. The coughing occurs once the mucus in your lungs and throat starts to thin out. The coughing that occurs helps to get the mucus out of your throat.

  • When should you not take an expectorant?

    Do not take an expectorant if you already have thin mucus. The medication is meant to help thin out thick mucus. You should also not take this type of medication before you will operate heavy machinery or drive.

  • Is expectorant good for a wet cough?

    Expectorants are great for people who have a wet cough. The ingredients will help to loosen the mucus that does not want to come out when the person coughs. A wet cough is generally a sign of mucus accumulation in the lungs and in the patient's throat.

  • What is the strongest expectorant?

    Prescription expectorants are generally much stronger than the over-the-counter options that are available. Your doctor will consider the severity of your mucus and decide which options are the right strength for your needs.