A cough will usually clear up on its own within 3 to 4 weeks.
There's usually no need to see a GP if you have a cough.
You could also try:
But there's limited evidence to show these work. Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect to cough medicines.
If you have a cough, you can ask a pharmacist about:
These will not stop your cough, but may help you cough less.
Decongestants and cough medicines containing codeine will not stop your cough.
See a GP urgently if you're coughing up blood.
To find out what's causing your cough, the GP might:
Antibiotics are not normally prescribed for coughs. A GP will only prescribe them if you need them – for example, if you have a bacterial infection or you're at risk of complications.
Most coughs are caused by a cold or flu.
Other causes include:
A cough is rarely a sign of something serious like lung cancer.