Bromhexine is an over-the-counter respiratory drug. It is used in an attempt to decrease the viscosity of mucous secretions in respiratory disorders characterised by excessive mucous, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD). Occasionally gastro-intestinal side effects may occur, which in serious cases may result in bleeding. People with stomach ulcers should exercise caution. Bromhexine is available in various oral dosage forms and as a solution for inhalation. It is often an ingredient of cough mixtures. The key to reducing the viscosity of secretions is to be adequately hydrated. Take note that while using Bromhexine there may be an increase in secretions.
Brand Names Available
Benadryl for the Family Chesty Forte, Besolvon Chesty Oral Liquid and Tablets, Bisolvon Sinus Oral Liquid, Chemists Own Chesty Cough, Chemista Own Chesty Mucus Cough, Dimetapp Chesty Cough Elixir, Duro-Tuss Expectorant, Duro-Tuss Mucolytic Cough Liquid, Duro-Tuss Sinus Oral Liquid, Robitussin ME, Tussinol Expectorant
Tablets, Syrup / Oral liquid, Schedule 2 - pharmacy only product
What is it?
Anti-tussive and expectorant
Bromhexine is used in an attempt to decrease the viscosity of mucous secretions in respiratory disorders characterised by excessive mucous, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD). Bromhexine is also included in various cough mixtures, and is used to relieve cough associated with excessive phlegm.
How does it work?
Bromhexine alters the structure of respiratory mucous secretions, increases the volume but decreases the viscosity. It also improves the clearance of the secretions by activating the mucociliary epithelium (the lining of the airways consisting of fine 'hairs' that 'sweep' the mucous out of the airways).
Dosage and Directions for use
For oral dosage forms:
Adults: 8 - 16mg taken 3 - 4 times daily.
Children aged 5 - 10 years: 4mg taken 4 times daily.
Children under 5 years: 4mg taken twice daily.
For inhalation from a respirator:
Adults: 8mg inhaled twice daily.
Children over 12 years: 4mg inhaled twice daily.
Children aged 6-12 years: 2mg inhaled twice daily.
Children aged 2-6 years: 10 drops inhaled twice daily.
Children under 2 years: 5 drops inhaled twice daily.
Possible Side Effects
Allergic reactions from skin rash to bronchospasm or anaphylaxis. Gastrointestinal bleeding (rare).
Headache. Dizziness. Increased sweating.
– considered safe.
– considered safe.
– dose reduction may be required in people with severe liver or kidney impairment.
– is used.
Driving and hazardous work
– caution required if dizziness occurs.
Known allergy to bromhexine
Stomach ulcers – caution required
Overdose can cause severe side effects (see above). General symptomatic and supportive treatment is recommended.
Interaction with other medicines
Many medicines, including this one, have interactions with other medicines and it is wise to inform your doctor and pharmacist of any and all medicines you take.
Adequate fluid intake is essential in order to reduce sputum viscosity.
While taking bromhexine there may be an increase in the flow of secretions.
Caution should be exercised by people with asthma, as bronchospasm may occur. A bronchodilator should be used first if the inhalation is used in the presence of bronchospasm.
Bromhexine (e.g. Bisolvon, Bronkese) is an over-the-counter respiratory drug.
bromhexine, cough syrup, bisolvon, bronkese, dur-elix, respiratory, respiratory drug