Best OTC Medicine for Chest Congestion

Posted by Avron Anstey on

If you are having a difficult time breathing or if you feel like something heavy is in your chest, then this might indicate the symptoms of chest congestion. Our bodies create mucous to eliminate infectious agents. However, if the infection is extremely severe, then the body will create more mucus to combat the micro-organism. Unfortunately, excessive mucus can get trapped in the chest leading to congestion.

Since there have been cases of people dying from chest problems, it's essential for healthcare providers to rule out coronary artery disease. Once ruled out, they can create a strategy to reduce the mucus. 

Usually, chest congestion can disappear on its own, but if it's due to a bacterial infection, then prescription antibiotic medication might be required. On average, the symptoms may disappear after a week.

There are times that you can have an additional symptom of fever along with the cough and congestion. After that, it may escalate into a cold. Fortunately, there are over the counter medications out there that can help alleviate any chest congestion.


Robitussin Chest Congestion

One medication you can use to treat chest congestion is this bad boy right here. One of the most common symptoms of chest congestion is a cough, and Robitussin can suppress the signal in the brain that stimulates the cough reflex.

Robitussin is known for treating cough, while the body eliminates the viral infection to reduce the mucous. However, if the chest congestion continues without any improvement, then it would be a great idea to consult with a doctor with regards to what exactly you are experiencing.



Mucinex is an OTC medication that has been around for a long time. It functions to break up the bonds that form the mucus and its thick consistency. If you have never taken an OTC medicine before, now is the time to start doing it. It is highly recommended by various health care providers and does not cause many side effects. If it does cause any side effects, the common ones are:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Headache


One of the most common treatments for chest congestion is Vicks. It is a popular ointment that is used to treat coughs and colds just by rubbing at the affected part. For example, if you have chest congestion, you can rub it on your chest. Methanol can diffuse through the skin and loosen mucus as well as soothing your body to relax you. This medication is generally taken every 6 hours and can help reduce the symptoms to give you a good night's sleep.


It would be best to keep OTC medicines somewhere safe and away from young children. It’s also best to store your medication in a cool, dry area. 

Remember that all OTC medicines have an expiration date so better keep that date in mind. If you take expired medication, it will not be as effective. For example, the active ingredient in Mucinex does have a shelf-life, and after a certain amount of time that has passed, it loses its potency.

An excellent way to store any medications is at a cool temperature. When stored in a heated environment, it could affect the way the medicine functions. If you don’t already have a medicine cabinet, considering getting one to keep everything organized and cooled.

Side Effects

Be aware of possible side effects you may experience while taking these OTC medicines. If you experience symptoms of dizziness, rashes, swelling, nausea, vomiting, or stomach ache then stop taking the medication right away and see if the symptoms go away on its own. Typically, side effects will stop when you stop taking the medication, but if it doesn't, then make sure you see a doctor immediately.

It is possible that you might be allergic to some ingredients found in the medicine that might have triggered the allergic reaction. With that in mind, your doctor should prescribe something else for your chest congestion and stop the allergic reaction.

What to Avoid for Chest Congestion

Since chest congestion is associated with cough, it is recommended to avoid sweets like soda and candy. The extra sugar can thicken the mucus and make you vulnerable to secondary bacterial infection in the mucus.


If you are not sure what to do with chest congestion, you can start with plenty of hydration and rest to help rejuvenate your body. Then use the information that we have provided to find the perfect OTC chest congestion medication. Make sure to follow the directions carefully to avoid overdosing, which can lead to horrendous consequences. 

Keep in mind that taking more medication is not going to speed up the recovery. You need to be patient and allow your body to eliminate the infection so you can recover. If your symptoms don't improve and you experience high-grade fever, foul breath, and green or bloody sputum, then that might indicate a bacterial infection that will require a consult with a doctor.

However, with the proper strategy and OTC medication, you’ll start to feel better in no time!

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