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Ambroxol

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Ambroxol is a drug used to thin and break down phlegm (sputum); it clears congestion when treating respiratory diseases that produce thick sputum or phlegm. The drug also has a local numbing effect and is used as a pain reliever for sore throat

When you take ambroxol, it starts working 30 minutes later to break down acid mucopolysaccharide fibres, making your sputum thinner and easily removed when you cough. It may still take some time for sputum volume to decrease and stop, but the viscosity will remain low as long as you take this medication. 

Dosage

Children up to 2 years old can take half a teaspoon of ambroxol syrup twice daily. Children from 2 to 5 years old can take half a teaspoonful three times daily, and children over 5 years can take one teaspoonful 2 to 3 times daily. 

The daily dose of ambroxol for adults is one tablet (30mg) to 4 tablets (120mg) taken in 2 to 3 divided doses. 

Side Effects of Ambroxol

The majority of the side effects from this medication usually resolve on their own, but if they don’t, ensure you let your doctor know.

  • Nausea.
  • Dyspepsia.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Indigestion. 
  • Runny nose.
  • Skin rash.
  • Gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Itching.
  • Heartburn.
  • Weakness. 
  • Vomiting.
  • Dry mouth or throat.
  • Numbness in mouth or throat.

Some severe side effects include anaphylactic reactions, toxic epidermal necrosis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Precautions 

Do not take this medication if you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester, and if you are breastfeeding because it can pass into breast milk and cause undesirable results for the baby. 

Notify your healthcare provider if you have severe gastric ulceration, kidney issues or liver disease. Also, do not take this drug if you are allergic to ambroxol or bromhexine, and note that some ambroxol has lactose as an inactive ingredient, so if you are lactose intolerant, do not use this medication or speak to your doctor about it.

In addition, if you have pneumonia or other lung infections, HIV or other conditions that can deplete your immune system, seek medical advice before using ambroxol.

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