Dextromethorphan is the most common effective cough suppressant for relief of a dry cough, according to WebMD. Coughs that produce mucus are generally helpful to clear the lungs and should not be treated with a cough suppressant unless the cough is interfering with sleep.
Most cough suppressants are effective in relieving a persistent cough by suppressing the cough reflex. Cough syrups with dextromethorphan can provide temporary relief of a dry cough. If heart disease or high blood pressure is a factor, cough syrups with dextromethorphan should not be used. It can also interact with other medications. Dextromethorphan should not be taken if other medications are being used until its use is cleared by a doctor, advises WebMD.
Syrups that are similar to VICKS Formula 44 for dry coughs are marketed under the brand names Babee Cof, Diabetuss, Benylin, Children's Robitussin Cough Long-Acting, VICKS DayQuil Cough, Dexalone and Pertussin ES as listed by the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. Other syrups similar to VICKS Formula 44 include Zicam Cough MAX, Scot-Tussin Diabetes CF and Silphen DM.