Please note: While some information will still be current in a year, other information may already be out of date in three months time. If you are in any doubt, please feel free to ask.


Is this mucolytic effective in CF?

Guaifenesin is sold as pills or syrups under many brand names. Guaifenesin is thought to act as an chest expectorant by increasing the volume and reducing the viscosity of secretions in the chest. It also is proposed to help the flow of respiratory secretions, upward so that they are more easily coughed up. However, objective evidence for these effects are limited and conflicting and there is no evidence base to support its use in CF. A Cochrane Collaboration review of over-the-counter medicines for acute cough in children and adults showed that evidence to support the use of guaifenesin was limited.
It is important to note that there are a number of mucolytic therapies that have a good evidence base for use in CF such as Recombinant human Dnase or hyperosmolar agents such as hypertonic saline. You should speak to your CF doctor about these medications and whether they would be useful for you.
Best wishes
Judy Bradley

Smith SM, Schroeder K, Fahey T (2008). Smith, Susan M. ed. "Over-the-counter medications for acute cough in children and adults in ambulatory settings". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD001831. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001831.pub3. PMID 18253996.
The answer is edited by: Prof Judy Bradley