Pharmacology Cough & Allergy #2


Which education is essential for the nurse to give the client to help facilitate the goal of treatment of guaifenesin?


  1. "Consume foods like chocolate and colas before taking guaifenesin."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because foods like chocolate and colas should be avoided because of the caffeine. Guaifenesin mixed with caffeine may increase central nervous system irritability.

  2. "Take this before your heart catheterization to reduce kidney effects."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because acetylcysteine (mucomyst) is given before a heart catheterization to reduce kidney effects from the contrast media given. Acetylcysteine is a vasodilator and antioxidant given to protect the kidneys and prevent reduction in kidney blood flow or contrast-induced kidney damage.

  3. "This is the drug of choice for clients with cystic fibrosis."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the drug of choice to help with cystic fibrosis, since there is no cure for the disease, would be pancreatic enzymes. With cystic fibrosis, the body makes thick, sticky mucus clogging the lungs and obstructing the pancreas.

  4. "Drink at least 2000 mililiters of water with this medication."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because guaifenesin is an expectorant and helps relieve chest congestion. Drinking 2000 ml of water will help thin the thick secretions to increase guaifenesin’s effect to relieve chest congestion.


Guaifenesin is a cough expectorant used to treat congestion, coughs, bronchitis, and other lung conditions. It is used to treat and soothe chest congestion.


Learning Outcomes

Guaifenesin is in the drug class of expectorants. Guaifenesin increases the volume and reduces the thickness of secretions in the bronchiole and trachea. It helps to increase the flow of respiratory secretions, causing ciliary movement to transfer the loose thinned secretions up towards the pharynx. Guaifenesin is ineffective without adequate fluid consumption. Fluids should be increased to at least 2 liters a day while on guaifenesin.

Test Taking Tip

Guaifenesin is an expectorant used to relieve thick chest congestion. It is best to drink extra fluids, especially water when taking guaifenesin to help lubricate the throat and loosen chest congestion.

Video Rationale