Cough

Updated 13 January 2017

Diphenhydramine, sodium citrate and ammonium chloride

The combination of diphenhydramine, sodium citrate and ammonium chloride is an antitussive and expectorant cough mixture.

0
Diphenhydramine, sodium citrate and ammonium chloride is the active ingredient of Becof (Nappi Code: 788120-018), Broncleer children (Nappi Code: 710636-008), Betalin (Nappi Code: 707054-005/013), Clear cough (Nappi Code: 803081-006/022/014), DPH (Nappi Code: 720291-003/011/119), Histodor Exp (Nappi Code: 783145-004), Medilyn (Nappi Code: 789976-005/013) and Relief-coff (Nappi Code: 823554-007/015).

General information
The combination of diphenhydramine, sodium citrate and ammonium chloride is an antitussive and expectorant cough mixture.

Antitussives are used to suppress or relieve/sooth coughing, while expectorants stimulates the respiratory tract to increase the production of bronchial secretions. This then thins mucus, facilitating the expulsion of phlegm or mucus from the respiratory tract.

Diphenhyramine is an antihistamine that relieves congestion and post-nasal drips, while ammonium chloride is the expectorant which thins mucus. Sodium citrate is a mucolytic, an agent which breaks down mucus, so that coughing up phlegm is easier.

It should be noted that not one of diphenhydramine, sodim citrate or ammonium chloride cures the underlying condition causing coughing, but simply keeps the symptoms under control.

How does this combination work?
Diphenhyramine is an antihistamine that relieves congestion and post-nasal drips, while ammonium chloride is the expectorant which thins mucus. Sodium citrate is a mucolytic, an agent which breaks down mucus, so that coughing up phlegm is easier.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2
Available as: this combination is available as syrup
What does it do? this combinations relieves congestion, dries a runny nose and post-nasal drip and thins mucus to relief coughing
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is this combination available as a generic? yes
Is this combination available on prescription only? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 3 hours
Duration of action: up to 8 hours
Stopping this medicine: this medication can be safely discontinued when no longer needed

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have asthma

  • you have liver or kidney disease

  • you have glaucoma

  • you have epilepsy

  • you have congestive heart failure

  • you have high blood pressure

  • you are currently being treated with a corticosteroid

  • you have heart rhythm disturbance, i.e. a fast heart rate

  • a child is younger than 6

  • you have an enlarged prostate

  • you have difficulty urinating

  • you have myasthenia gravis

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 6 years.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as adverse effects may be more likely.
Driving and hazardous work: this medication should be avoided as it may cause extreme sedation.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor
 
Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
dry mouth
X
X
drowsiness
X
X
dizziness
X
X
headaches
X
X
nausea/vomiting
X
X
anxiety
X
X
shortness of breath
X
X
muscle weakness
X
X
heart palpitations
X
X

Interactions

alcoholenhanced sedation
drugs for anxietyenhanced sedation
sleeping tabletsenhanced sedation
mono amine oxidase inhibitorsincreased occurrence of diphenhydramine related side-effects
tricyclic antidepressantsincreased occurrence of diphenhydramine realted side-effects

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have asthma, liver or kidney disease, glaucoma, epilepsy, a heart rhythm disturbance, an enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, or if you have been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults, oral: 5 - 10 ml every four hours

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

From our sponsor

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cough Expert

Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others. Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules