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Will Mucinex Relieve Post-Nasal Drip?

Post-nasal drip can be incredibly annoying. What do you do for it? One reader found relief with Mucinex. Others use a neti pot or NasalCrom.
Will Mucinex Relieve Post-Nasal Drip?
Winneconne, WI –  5 May 2019 : A package of a Mucinex fast max cold, flue, sore throat, DM max severe, congestion, and cough bottles on an isolated background

Everyone has experienced a runny nose, right? Catch a cold and your nose will “run.” Allergies will also make your nose drip. Doctors have a fancy name for a runny nose: rhinorrhea. Merriam-Webster defines it as “excessive mucous secretion from the nose.” When mucus goes down your throat instead of out your nose, it is called post-nasal drip. Is there any way to relieve this annoying problem? One reader offered the following solution:

Mucinex for Post-Nasal Drip?

Q. Like many people with severe lifelong allergies, I can’t take systemic antihistamines for my sneezing and congestion. They cause me intolerable fatigue and painful nose dryness with nosebleeds.

While rinsing my nose helps, I have had the most success taking Mucinex for post-nasal drip, my most bothersome symptom. It seems to break up the thick mucus and allow me to breathe, swallow, and sleep. Yet studies and many doctors claim Mucinex doesn’t work any better than placebo. Do you have any insight?

Is There Any Science to Support Mucinex vs. Post-Nasal Drip?

A. Your experience is intriguing. There are at least a dozen different Mucinex products containing the mucolytic agent guaifenesin. Mucolytic, according to Merriam-Webster, means: 

“tending to break down or lower the viscosity of mucin-containing body secretions or components”

Although the effectiveness of guaifenesin against cough is rather controversial, some doctors report that it helps make mucus less thick and sticky (Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, Nov. 3, 2018). 

Other Approaches to Easing Post-Nasal Drip:

Sally Found that NAC helped ease her upper respiratory tract challenges:

“I have had COPD for several years (never smoked myself but lived with smokers). My lungs are the ‘weak link’ in an otherwise healthy body.

“I take NAC (N-Acetyl cysteine) and find that it helps break up things and clear my lungs and stop the nagging, little cough that is caused by COPD. Recently, I had a bad bout of pneumonia and bronchitis for which I took Mucinex. It was helpful but when I went back to the NAC things got better….immediately.”

Linda found that Mucinex plus a neti pot nasal rinse eased her symptoms:

“I had never had a sinus infection until I was in my early 60s and didn’t know what they were. Then I got sick for weeks at a time. Finally I figured it out and went to a doctor for relief.

“I’d been taking OTC cold tablets that didn’t help at all and seemed to make it worse. I got so stuffed up and impacted that I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all and didn’t think I’d ever get better. The doctor told me to only take a med with guaifenesin as the main ingredient. Around the same time I read about neti pots.

“From then on whenever I got a cold I took Mucinex with guaifenesin and used the neti pot to try and ward off getting a sinus infection. This has been a very successful regimen for me. I still get an occasional cold, maybe once a year, but they are milder now and don’t last as long.”

Neti Pot for Post-Nasal Drip?

Would you like to learn more about a net pot? Here is an article that will give you some insights and some cautions:

Why Sterile Water Is Best to Flush Sinuses
You can use a saline solution made with salt and sterile water to wash out your nasal passages and clear your sinuses during allergy season.

Ellen offers another solution for seasonal allergies:

“I first used NasalCrom when it was a prescription drug, about 30 years ago in Houston, TX. I used it along with a steroid nasal spray. I still buy it now for my seasonal allergies. What’s better now: it doesn’t require a prescription and the price is affordable!

“NasalCrom is one of the safest allergy medications you can use. It does not get in your bloodstream and interact with other medications. It DOES NOT make you drowsy (think Benadryl); it does not dry out your sinuses; it does not have side effects when you stop using it (think Zyrtec); it does not cost an arm or leg (like all the rest). The worst I’ve heard is a stinging sensation and post-nasal drip initially-only a couple minutes. Then your nose clears up. No more congestion! I have used ALL the named products at one time or another.

“My son used it as a 4 year old when we moved back to the States and he started having allergies for the first time in his life. He only had to use it seasonally; spring and fall.

“I’ve seen people have miraculous improvement in their symptoms within minutes of using NasalCrom. I do realize some people just don’t like sprays. But, if it’s just a couple times a day, try to get past that.

“Before anyone goes there: I am not/have never been an employee of this company or received any remuneration from them. I am just a dedicated user who can’t understand why they don’t have better PR about this great product.”

Learn more about NasalCrom at this link

Should You Use NasalCrom for Your Allergies?
Decongestant nose sprays can be used for only a few days before you risk becoming dependent. Using NasalCrom for your allergies is an alternative.

Want to know the fascinating history of NasalCrom? Check out this link

NasalCrom Is A Forgotten Allergy Treatment That Works!
If you are sneezing and sniffling you want an effective allergy treatment without serious side effects. Cromolyn might be worth considering

What About You?

Share your own solutions to post-nasal drip in the comment section below. If you think this article might be helpful to someone with allergies or other runny-nose problems, please scroll to the top of the page and send it via email, Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for supporting our work. And if you would like to read our articles without advertisements to interfere, please consider going ad free at this link.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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