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Table 2 Main classes of mucoactive drugs

From: Role of guaifenesin in the management of chronic bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections

Mucoactive drug classes Proposed mechanism of action (example)
Expectorants Increase mucus secretion volume and/or hydration for more productive cough (e.g. guaifenesin)
Mucolytics Reduce mucus viscosity by breaking down tertiary structures within mucus (e.g. N-acetylcysteine)
Mucokinetics Increase mucus transportability by mucociliary transport and cough mechanisms (e.g. ambroxol)
Mucoregulators Affect the regulation of mucus synthesis and reduce mucus hypersecretion (e.g. anticholinergic agents)