Commonly used to treat coughs and congestion, guaifenesin has a variety of other applications as well. A derivative of the guaiac tree, guaifenesin or its generic versions were used by the Native Americans. In any case, the current drug was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in 1952 and has gained popularity as a treatment option since then.
What is Guaifenesin?
Guaifenesin is a common drug that belongs to the family of expectorants. As such, this medication functions to thin mucus in the body, typically the throat and nasal passages, to relieve congestion and other adverse health conditions.
Typically sold as a pill or syrup, guaifenesin is a readily available product. It can be purchased under such brand names as Guai-Aid, GuaiLife, Ethex 208, Mumibid, Mucinex and Robitussin. It is also found in a variety of other over-the-counter congestion remedies and is typically combined with dextromethorphan, pseudoephedrine and/or acetaminophen.
Health Benefits of Guaifenesin
As an active expectorant, guaifenesin functions to thin the mucus in the body. It also works to loosen mucus, clear congestion and make breathing easier. These effects have a number of positive health benefits, making it an effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
Most commonly used to treat coughs and congestion, guaifenesin is effective for treating such conditions as the common cold, bronchitis and other breathing issues. As it does thin and loosen mucus, it can also be used to treat infertility. Taken during ovulation, the medication helps increase cervical mucus also increasing the chance that sperm will be able to reach the egg for fertilization.
As with any medication, care must be taken regarding appropriate dosing; however, when taken in proper amounts, guaifenesin is a safe, effective medication. While traditionally used for treating colds and coughs, the medication has other effective purposes as well.