PlushCare /  Online Doctor /  Primary Care /  Cough

Cough treatment available online today

In order to treat your cough, consult with one of our board-certified online doctors today to prescribe medication to help suppress coughing. Get a new prescription to relieve a cough or refill an existing prescription today.

  • Medication services available 24/7 for adults and kids (3+)

  • Top quality, board-certified doctors

  • No insurance needed

  • Same-day prescriptions available*

*Disclaimer: PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of coughing. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms, but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

We accept these insurance plans and many more!

Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less. Otherwise, new patient visits are $129 and follow-ups are only $69 for members.

  • United Healthcare
  • Humana
  • Aetna

3 simple steps to request treatment for a cough today

  • Book a cough treatment appointment.

    Step 1

    Book a cough treatment appointment.

    Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

  • Talk to your medical provider regarding your cough symptoms.

    Step 2

    Talk to your medical provider regarding your cough symptoms.

    Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

  • Pick up a prescription to treat your cough.

    Step 3

    Pick up a prescription to treat your cough.

    We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

  • Book a cough treatment appointment.

    Step 1

    Book a cough treatment appointment.

    Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

  • Talk to your medical provider regarding your cough symptoms.

    Step 2

    Talk to your medical provider regarding your cough symptoms.

    Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

  • Pick up a prescription to treat your cough.

    Step 3

    Pick up a prescription to treat your cough.

    We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Cough treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request constipation treatment and get a new or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance

Membership

$14.99/month

First month free

First visit

Copay

For all visits

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week
  • Unlimited messages with your 24/7 Care Team
  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%
  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests
  • Free memberships for your family
  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:
    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance

Membership

$14.99/month

First month free

First visit

$129

Repeats only $69

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week
  • Unlimited messages with your 24/7 Care Team
  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%
  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests
  • Free memberships for your family
  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129 and follow-ups are only $69 for active members.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Learn about coughs

Coughing is a body’s reflex action to throat irritation, much like other reflex actions such as blinking and sneezing. Sometimes irritants from the air such as dust, can enter the throat and airway. To immediately expel the irritant from the throat or airway, the chest and abdomen muscles contract to push air out of the lungs, which is coughing.

Occasional coughing is healthy as it helps clear the throat and airway of irritants such as germs, dust, and mucus. Coughing itself can also be a symptom of an underlying cause (e.g. upper respiratory infection). Constant coughing can cause sore throats.

Cough causes

A variety of factors and conditions can contribute to a cough. Causes of coughing can generally be categorized as medical conditions, allergens, or irritants. Medical conditions that can cause coughs include:

  • Common cold

  • A viral infection, like the flu

  • COVID-19

  • Acute / chronic bronchitis

  • Asthma

  • Allergies

  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)

  • Postnasal drip

  • Whooping cough

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) / acid reflux

     

    Indoor/household irritants or allergens that can cause coughing include:

  • Pollen

  • Dust

  • Smoke

  • Mold

  • Strong smells

  • Cough medication

    There are several different types of medications that can act as an effective cough treatment. These cough medicines include both prescription and over the counter medications. There are several different types of medications that can act as an effective cough treatment. These cough medicines include both prescription and over the counter medications. Cough medications can effectively treat cough symptoms quickly. Depending on the cause, some cough medication options may include:

  • Benzonatate (Tessalon) capsules

    This prescription cough medicine is a non-narcotic cough suppressant.

  • Asthma drugs

    Asthma drugs such as Albuterol can help relieve a wheezing cough.

  • Antihistamines

    These can help reduce allergy related coughs.

  • Decongestants

    These medicines stop runny nose, improve nasal airflow and reduce postnasal drip to help reduce coughing frequency. If you take blood pressure medicine, check with your doctor first before taking any decongestants.

  • Corticosteroids

    These help reduce inflammation of the lining of the airway (smooth muscle relaxation).

  • Antibiotics

    Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections that lead to coughs.

  • Cough suppressants

    Also known as antitussives, cough suppressants work by suppressing the cough reflex. Common over the counter cough suppressant brand names include, but are not limited to, Delsym and Robitussin.

  • Other cough syrups

  • Cough drops

    Do not give cough medicine to children under 6 years old without a doctor's approval.

  • How to prevent a cough

    One of the main idea behind cough prevention is to prevent the spread of the viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory tract infections, through good hygiene practices:

    • Wash hands frequently with soap
    • Cover when sneezing or coughing
    • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces frequently

    In addition, staying healthy and keeping your immune system up to can help fend off the cold virus:

    • Exercise
    • Get enough sleep

    Another key prevention strategy is reduce exposure to indoor/outdoor irritants or allergens such as:

    • First and secondhand cigarette smoke
    • Air pollution, including smog or smoke from vehicular emission, forest fires or industries
    • Pollen

    When to see a doctor for a cough

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, call a doctor:

    • A cough that does not get better within 3 weeks
    • A cough that produces thick or colored phlegm / thick mucus or blood
    • A cough that is accompanied by a fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and trouble sleeping
    • Persistent cough with fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit or one that lasts more than 1 – 2 days

    Seek emergency treatment if you experience the following together with cough:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Blood when coughing
    • Severe chest pain
    • Feeling of choking

    Continue to see your doctor if you have a chronic cough due to known underlying medical conditions that you are already in a treatment plan. Continual management of the medical condition can keep the chronic cough in check.

    Related conditions to a cough

    Conditions related to a cough / that may cause coughing include:

    • Common cold
    • Flu
    • Bronchitis (acute or chronic)
      • Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are part of your lower respiratory tract, and carry air to and from the lungs. Acute bronchitis are short term and can be caused by an infection or irritating substance, such as inhaled smoke. Chronic bronchitis lasts at least three months. Dry cough bouts can appear in both acute and chronic bronchitis.
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
      • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that cause blockage in the lung airways, causing breathing issues. Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD. Chronic cough is a symptom of COPD.
    • Asthma
      • Asthma is a lung condition in which a person’s airway become constricted due to inflammation and/or excess mucus production. In addition to a whistling or wheezing sound in the chest, asthma patient can also suffer from dry cough.
    • Allergies
      • Allergen such as pollens, dust, animal dander can cause postnasal drip and trigger coughs.
    • GERD (acid reflux)
      • Coughs due to GERD (acid reflux) occur typically at nighttime, after a meal or when a person is lying down.
    • Whooping cough
      • Whooping cough is an upper respiratory bacterial infection caused the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. The bacteria cause inflammation of the air tract and triggers coughing. The cough is characterized by severe coughing spells that ends with a “whooping” sound due to high pitch intake of breath.
    • COVID-19
      • Coughing is a symptom associated with COVID-19.

  • How to treat a cough

    Cough treatment will depend on what is causing the coughing; speak with your doctor to receive a diagnosis and care plan to treat coughs. Depending on the underlying medical condition that is causing the coughs, the doctor can include over the counter or prescription medications as part of the treatment plan. There are also home remedies that can help.

    Home remedies

    Aside from over the counter drugs, here are some at home remedies that may also help relieve coughs:

    • Get adequate rest – high sleep quality can positively impact immune system and aid recovery.
    • Warm liquids – warm water with lemon, hot herbal tea, ginger tea can help sooth sore throat and loosen mucus.
    • Salt water gargle – salt water may help reduce inflammation and soothe a sore throat.
    • Cool mist humidifier – moist air can relieve a dry cough.

    Cough symptoms

    Cough symptoms (characteristics) vary depending on the type of cough.

  • Acute cough vs. chronic cough

    Acute cough begins suddenly and typically subsides on its own in a matter of two to three weeks. Acute coughs are typically brought about by less serious medical conditions such as the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection, etc.

    Chronic coughs (also known as persistent coughs) typically last longer than eight weeks. A chronic cough can be due to prolonged exposure to allergen, or even indicative of a more serious underlying medical condition.

  • Productive cough (wet cough) vs. non-productive cough (dry cough)

    A productive cough is a cough that produces mucus or phlegm (also known as a wet cough). A wet cough can be due to medical conditions such as flu, bronchitis, etc. Typically, a doctor can use the color of the mucus as part of their diagnosis to determine the cause of the cough.

    A dry cough is a cough that does not produce mucus or phlegm.

  • Daytime cough vs. nocturnal cough

    Daytime cough episodes take place during the day while nighttime coughing take place during the night.

     

    *Disclaimer: You should seek emergency attention immediately if you are experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, severe chest pain, blood when coughing.

  • Cough treatment FAQs

    • What is the best cough treatment?

      Over the counter medicine is a great option for treating your cough. Cold medicines such as cough suppressants help reduce the urge to cough, while expectorants loosen the mucus in your chest to help you cough it up. Doctors can prescribe prescription strength cough suppressants for severe coughs. For those with bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia, antibiotics may be prescribed, if the cause is due to bacterial infection.

    • How do you make a cough go away fast?

      If you want to get rid of your cough, book an online appointment with one of the best online doctors out there. One of our board-certified doctors can diagnose your condition and prescribe necessary medication before your cough gets worse. They can also recommend at-home treatments to help get you feeling better soon.

    • How can I treat a cough at home?

      Some of the most effective home treatments for a cough include:

      -Over the counter medicine

      -Cough drops

      -Get adequate rest

      -Warm liquids – warm water with lemon, hot herbal tea, ginger tea

      -Salt water gargle

    • How do I know if my cough is serious?

      You need to see a doctor to get a professional diagnosis to know if the cough is due to any serious underlying medical condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call a doctor:

      -A cough that does not get better within 3 weeks

      -A cough that produces thick or colored phlegm / thick mucus or blood

      -A cough that is accompanied by a fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and trouble sleeping

      -Persistent cough with fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit or one that lasts more than 1 – 2 days

    • How do I know if my cough is COVID-19?

      To know if you cough is due to COVID-19, you will have to take a COVID-19 test in order to confirm diagnosis.