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Open all pages about Cough

You can treat a cough yourself. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. You could also try hot lemon and honey (not suitable for babies under 1 year old).

You can ask a pharmacist about cough syrup, cough medicine and cough sweets. These will not stop your cough, but may help you cough less.

To find out what's causing your cough, the GP might take a mucus sample or refer you for tests like an X-ray or tests to see how well your lungs work.

Most coughs are caused by a cold or flu. Other causes include smoking, heartburn (acid reflux), allergies and infections like bronchitis.

A cough will usually clear up on its own. But see a GP if you've had a cough for more than 3 weeks.

Page last reviewed: 08/12/2023
Next review due: 08/12/2026