How Mucinex Works?

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Mucus is a term most often associated with respiratory illnesses like colds, coughs and chest congestion. But mucus is actually a friendly substance produced by the mucus glands lying in the mucus membrane. Most of our body’s tracts that are in contact with the outside environment are lined with mucus membranes. These include the respiratory, digestive and urogenital canals.

The mucus produced in the mucus membrane lubricates and moistens the canals to assist smooth passage of ingested substances. It keeps passages –especially those exposed to the drying effect of the outside air – moist. Chewing food without the moistening effect of mucus is a difficult and unappetising task.

Mucus also plays a protective role. In the nose the mucus moistens the cilia (tiny hairs). The moistened cilia trap unwanted particles, bacteria and dust, thereby preventing these potential threats from penetrating deeper into the respiratory tract.

Mucus in the stomach prevents the stomach from being digested by its own highly acidic digestive juices.

So all in all, mucus is a good guy. So what then is mucus and what makes it a threat to our well- being.

Mucus is a mixture of water, sugars, proteins and other substances. It also contains antibodies and enzymes that get rid of viruses, allergens or bacteria that we may have inhaled. The mucus that has trapped the harmful substances gets pushed up the nasal passage to the back of the throat, from where the whole mess can be coughed out.

Sometimes the quantity of dust particles, allergens or other harmful substances inhaled may be overwhelming and fight its way past the mucus to enter the throat and lungs. The body’s reaction to this attack is to produce more mucus to fight off the invaders. The mucus gets thicker and changes colour as the body tries to protect itself. At first it is colourless but as it mucus collects bacteria or viruses or allergens the colour changes to yellow or green.

As the mucus builds up in the throat or lungs it gets more difficult to expel and the build-up hardens causing extreme discomfort. Symptoms of mucus build up include persistent cough, chest congestion, stuffy nose, sinus, chest congestion, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, sneezing or headache.

Mucinex is a registered drug in the expectorant class. The generic name is guaifenesin. It is especially effective in relieving symptoms of problems caused by mucus build up.

Chest Congestion:
The mucus has thickened and lodged itself in the lungs, causing discomfort and pain.

Mucinex thins and loosens the mucus making it easier to cough it up.

The mucus collected is too much to be coughed out. It hardens and though a productive cough does bring up some mucus, the cough will persist till it is all cleared.

Mucinex thins out the mucus making it easier to cough it up. Some products also contain a cough suppressant that gives the cougher a break.

If a respiratory tract infection affects the sinuses, then the mucous membranes in the sinus cavity become inflamed. The membranes produce more mucus to fight the infection. This mucus is extra thick and cannot escape by the regular routes. This causes a build- up that puts a painful pressure on the sinus.

Some Mucinex products contain a decongestant that shrinks the swollen mucus membranes. The mucus can then drain out.

Stuffy Nose:
Swollen mucus membranes in the nose, and a build-up of thick mucus stuck in the nasal passage causes a stuffy nose.

Mucinex products that contain a nasal decongestant shrink the mucus membranes and loosen the stuck mucus.

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