Many cough syrups contain 1.4 to 5 percent alcohol. A few cough syrups contain significantly more alcohol, 10 to 40 percent. Alcohol is often included in cough syrups because it is thought to help suppress the cough reflex.Continue Reading
In comparison, a regular beer contains 5 percent alcohol, but a serving of beer is 12 ounces of the beverage. When consuming cough syrup, a dose is 1 ounce or less, so far less alcohol is consumed.
Most cough syrups contain a cough suppressant, such as dextromethorphan, to suppress the cough reflex. Some cough medications contain other ingredients, such as expectorants, antihistamines and decongestants.Learn more about Medications & Vitamins