Pharmacology Cough & Allergy #3

Question

A client is suffering from an upper respiratory infection with congestion. Which medication helps thin mucus in the airway?

Answers

  1. Antihistamine
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because antihistamines do not thin mucus. They dry up mucus so can actually thicken the mucus if other medications are not given with antihistamines. Guaifenesin, is an expectorant commonly used for respiratory infections with congestion. It is designed to thin mucus so the client can cough up or eliminate mucus in the airway.

  2. Expectorant
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because expectorants, such as guaifenesin, help thin mucus in the body. It is designed to thin mucus so the client can cough up or eliminate mucus in the airway. It is important to teach the client to drink at least 2 liters of water a day with guaifenesin to help facilitate the expectorant action. This medication is available by prescription and in over-the-counter sinus and cold relief medications. Drinking plenty of water (at least 2 liters of water a day) can not be over emphasized.

  3. Cough suppressant
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because cough suppressants do not thin mucus but keep the client from having excessive coughing. Guaifenesin, is an expectorant commonly used for respiratory infections with congestion. It is designed to thin mucus so the client can cough up or eliminate mucus in the airway. The expectorant should be taken with at least 2 liters of water a day or it will not thin mucus as it is designed to.

  4. Mast cell stabilizer
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because mast cell stabilizers, such as cromolin, are used to prevent exercise induced asthma. This medication does not thin mucus in the client. Guaifenesin is designed to thin mucus so the client can cough up or eliminate mucus in the airway.

Overview

Expectorants, such as guaifenesin, help thin mucus in the body. It is important to teach the client to drink at least 2 liters of water a day with guaifenesin to help facilitate the expectorant action.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Guaifenesin, is an expectorant commonly used for respiratory infections with congestion. It is designed to thin mucus so the client can cough up or eliminate mucus in the airway. The expectorant should be taken with at least 2 liters of water a day or it will not thin mucus as it is designed to. This medication is available by prescription and in over-the-counter sinus and cold relief medications. Drinking plenty of water (at least 2 liters of water a day) can not be over emphasized.

Test Taking Tip

Unless a client has contraindications, such as kidney failure or heart failure, increasing fluids is generally a good answer to choose.

Video Rationale