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How to get rid of a cough in 5 minutes?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

When you cough, your body is clearing your throat and airways of irritants and mucus. It’s a reflex to protect your respiratory system from infections, allergies, and pollutants. Coughs are common, with most adults having between 2 and 5 coughs a year. 

Though coughing can be frustrating and can sometimes impact your quality of life, they’re usually nothing serious and tend to go away by themselves. 

If you have a cough, don’t wait to see your doctor. Book an online consultation with a pharmacist to get the care and treatment you need.

How to get rid of a cough?

When you’re dealing with a bad cough, it’s understandable that you want to get rid of it quickly. Afterall, that’s why you’re reading this article. 

Here’s some tips for getting rid of your cough and reducing the pain:

  • Gargle warm salt water: salt water helps to kill bacteria and can soothe your throat


  • Add honey to your drinks: mix a teaspoon of honey into herbal tea or warm water with lemon to soothe your throat and reduce coughing


  • Suck on a lozenge: the menthol in lozenges helps to soothe your throat and suppress your cough reflex


  • Have a hot bath or shower: as well as helping you de-stress, inhaling the steam from hot water can help moisten your throat and relieve your cough


  • Use a humidifier: if you don’t have time for a bath, consider using an air humidifier which helps in the same way – by putting water into the air


  • Quit smoking: if you’re a smoker dealing with a cough, try quitting for good or at least until your cough has gone


  • Use a cough syrup: if your cough just isn’t going away, try an over-the-counter cough medicine that helps to soothe your throat


  • Use a throat spray: if you need immediate relief, try using a spray like Difflam to soothe and numb your throat

Frequently asked questions about coughs

How to get rid of a chesty cough?

To soothe a chesty cough, try steam inhalation, drink plenty of fluids, make sure you’re getting enough rest. You should also avoid irritants, like smoking, while you have a cough. 

How to get rid of a tickly cough?

To relieve a tickly cough, try honey, lozenges, or warm drinks. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids. 

How to get rid of a cough overnight?

Unfortunately, getting rid of a cough overnight isn’t always possible. However, by drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, and avoiding irritants like smoking, you’ll start to feel better sooner. 

A young man is holding his throat in pain after a cough, he is holding a glass of water.

Do you have a cough?

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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.