One drug for a dry cough is Delsym, according to Drugs.com. This is a liquid extended-release medication. Another drug that works to reduce a dry cough is Tessalon, which is available in pill or capsule form.
Unlike Delsym, Tessalon suppresses the cough reflex by numbing the patient's throat, claims Drugs.com. Delsym works by targeting the area in the patient's brain that controls the cough reflex.
In general, cough suppressants are good for a dry cough, according to WebMD. These medications prevent the reflex that makes patients cough, so they help to ease the unproductive cough that keeps them up at night. The best cough suppressants require a doctor's prescription.