"I just started taking Mucinex and it's working well but I'm wondering how it actually works and where exactly does all the mucus go?"
You should wonder how this commonly used over-the-counter medication works. Patients often wonder whether over–the-counter cold medications work, or are they packaged sand. Mucinex is a medication many people get their hands on when suffering from an upper respiratory infection. The generic name for Mucinex is Guaifenesin which became available over–the- counter a few years ago.
Mucinex is known as an expectorant. What that means for you is that it should help relieve your congested, junky, rattling chest by bringing that cough up. Mucinex is also marketed under the names Diabetic Tussin, Humibid, Phanasin, Q-tussin, Robitussin Chest Congestion and Tussin among others.
So how does it work? Mucinex is thought to act as an expectorant by irritating the gastric mucosa and stimulating respiratory tract secretions, thereby increasing respiratory fluid volumes and decreasing mucous viscosity (thickness or stickiness). With a full glass of water, Mucinex is used to help loosen phlegm and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive.
Side effects are rare but include dizziness, drowsiness, and headache and large quantities have been reported to cause kidney stones. It is not recommended that you use it longer than 7 days and do not use for persistent or chronic cough (as with smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema) or while you are pregnant.