Treatment options for a chronic cough with phlegm include medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and nasal glucocorticoids, according to UpToDate. Depending on the underlying causes of a chronic cough, physicians may also prescribe antibiotics, as MedicineNet explains.
Diagnosing the underlying causes of a chronic cough allows physicians to prescribe the proper medications and at-home treatments, which can include bed rest, increasing fluid intake and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. The causes of a chronic cough include postnasal drip from seasonal allergies, the common cold, acid reflux, bacterial infections and asthma, according to UpToDate. After treating the underlying causes, the cough typically clears up as patients recover, as Mayo Clinic explains.
In addition to over-the-counter and prescription medications, patients should consider home remedies such as drinking tea with honey, ginger or mint and gargling with hot salt water to reduce phlegm and to maintain open airways, according to MedicineNet. Patients should also avoid smoking or inhaling harmful irritants such as dust and second-hand smoke.
To prevent a chronic cough from returning, patients should limit exposure to allergens, quit smoking and make dietary changes that help prevent or limit the occurrence of acid reflux, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients should also eat more fruit because high-fiber foods that contain flavonoids help prevent a chronic cough from developing, as MedicineNet explains.