Since I already take 9 prescription drugs, I am very careful about adding anything else to the mix. However, when I got the monster cough and cold from the pit recently, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) would stop my 24/7 coughing. I am not exaggerating! I got the usual Tessalon Perles in a double dose, but they had no effect. I coughed day and night without any relief, and practically no sleep.
Finally an ER doctor prescribed Tussionex Extended Release Suspension. I really hate using narcotics (even in an emergency) as they tend to give me axe-murder dreams. They are very violent and disturbing dreams, so I don't like a cough medicine with codeine. But I was about to die from all this coughing. So I relented finally, and took a dose of the Tussionex. It worked instantly the first night. I finally got some sleep, after a week of hacking and hacking 24/7. However, I was hesitant to use it every 12 hours, as I knew that I could quickly develop pneumonia if I didn't keep coughing, and getting the fluid off of my lungs. So I decided to just use this at bedtime, to help me get some sleep.
When I looked it up online, I discovered that it has Hydrocodone, a mild narcotic similar to Codeine, that is believed to work directly on the cough center. It also has Chlorpheniramine, which is an antihistamine, which helps dry up the secretions, and also aids with the itching and inflammation.
There are some very serious side effects, and this medicine should never be taken in a higher dose than prescribed. It can cause slow or irregular breathing, and of course, a narcotic overdose can be fatal. As I said, I don't like using it, but I have coughed up most of my major organs ( a bit of an exaggeration) and I could not take it anymore. However, as soon as I can sleep without it, I will discontinue using it.
I am thankful that something could help me. I did not have bad dreams with this medicine, and it helped my cough tremendously, and allowed me to get some much needed sleep.