expectorant


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Related to expectorant: guaifenesin, decongestant, antitussive

expectorant

Med
1. promoting the secretion, liquefaction, or expulsion of sputum from the respiratory passages
2. an expectorant drug or agent

Expectorant

 

a medicinal substance that facilitates the expulsion of sputum by intensifying secretion in the bronchial glands or by liquefying the secretion. An expectorant can also work by stimulating contraction of the bronchial musculature.

The mode of action of an expectorant on the musculature and mucosa of the bronchi can be direct or reflexive. Direct-acting expectorants include terpin hydrate, potassium and sodium iodides, the essential oils of eucalyptus and anise, and turpentine. The active principles in essential oils—terpenes and aromatic hydrocarbons—stimulate the bronchial glands. These oils, which also have antiseptic and deodorant properties, can be ingested or inhaled. Sodium bicarbonate and ammonium chloride are mild expectorants that alter the viscosity of bronchialgland secretions by dissolving mucin. A more effective agent is the proteolytic enzyme trypsin, which decreases the viscosity of sputum by depolymerizing the constituent protein molecules.

Expectorants whose mode of action is reflexive are prepared from the medical plants Cephaelis ipecacuanha, Cephaelis acuminata, Thermopsis, and Polygala senega. The alkaloids and saponins in these plants stimulate the receptors of the gastric mucosa and reflexively intensify peristalsis of the smooth musculature of the bronchi as well as secretion from the bronchial glands.

Expectorants are used to treat bronchitis and other inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract that are accompanied by a cough with a viscous sputum that is difficult to expel.

REFERENCES

Votchal, B. E. Ocherki klinicheskoi farmakologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Mashkovskii, M. D. Lekarstvennye sredstva, 7th ed. Moscow, 1972. Parts 1–2.

V. V. CHURIUKANOV

expectorant

[ik′spek·tə·rənt]
(pharmacology)
Tending to promote expectoration.
An agent that promotes expectoration.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cough medicines can be broadly divided into two types; expectorants, which facilitate coughing up phlegm, for use in a productive or chesty coughs, and suppressants, which suppress the coughing reflex and are for use in non-productive or dry coughs.
Expectorants "loosen" a cough by stimulating the break up of sticky secretions in the lungs.
For youngsters who prefer liquids, Mucinex is available in grape- and cherry-flavor liquid expectorant and expectorant/ cough-control formulations.
offers liquid Mucinex expectorant in grape flavor, as well as a liquid expectorant/cough formula in bubble gum.
The Adams portfolio currently includes three over-the-counter expectorant products: Mucinex, Mucinex D and Mucinex DM.
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In the important respiratory care market Adams Respiratory Therapeutics' flagship Mucinex expectorant brand was successfully unveiled at many chains last year, says a company spokesman.
It does not contain expectorant, decongestant or antihistamine agents.
It has expectorant properties and is useful in promoting a healthy respiratory system.
Adams' flagship Mucinex expectorant brand was successfully introduced to many retailers last year with impactful, consumer-friendly packaging and the support of a national advertising campaign featuring a humorous and memorable character named Mr.
In addition to its anti-pathogenic properties, many published references claim that eucalyptus oil thins mucous in the lungs and is a good expectorant after a cold or flu is contracted.