OTC Remedies for Snoring

Snoring in and of itself is not a disease, but it is a clue to an underlying health condition causing a blockage of the nasal passageways. Almost all the common respiratory diseases cause snoring and, when the disease is treated the snoring stops.

Cough Remedies

The efficiency of cough remedies is uncertain with the exception of the mucolytic preparations that make mucous less sticky and easier to cough up. Some cough remedies contain a mild sedative which does help those who have a persistent cough to get some sleep but the remedy itself is doing nothing for the cough.

If the snoring problem is being caused by mucous blocking the airways there may be some benefit to using the type of remedy that makes it easier to cough up the mucous.


Decongestants are drugs used to reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses. They act to relieve congestion.

The mucous membranes can become irritated and or inflamed for a number of reasons including viral infections and allergic reactions.

When infections or allergic reactions attack the delicate membranes lining the nasal and sinus cavities the blood vessels in the membrane enlarge and engorge to allow increased production of mucous. Decongestants act directly on those blood vessels to constrict them thereby reducing the swelling and the mucous production levels.

Decongestants can be taken as oral pills or capsules; they are also available as nasal sprays or drops.

It is important not to overuse decongestant sprays and drops as their effect lessens over time.

Cold and Flu Remedies

Whilst there are no known cures for the common cold or flu, there are many remedies that will either suppress or alleviate the symptoms thereby easing discomfort and reducing the associated problem of snoring.

Most of the over the counter remedies are combinations of drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and decongestants. Some include caffeine and vitamin C.

There is a school of thought that believes cold and flu viruses are best left to run their course and that the use of drugs just prolongs the problem.


Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that act to reduce inflammation in the nasal passageways in allergic conditions such as hay fever. They deserve a mention here, although they are prescription drugs and not generally available as over the counter remedies.

The body is capable of producing its own supply of corticosteroid and it is only given as medication when additional supplies are required to assist with a crisis; to support an overworked immune system. When corticosteroids are taken for more than a few weeks it is important that the dose is reduced gradually to allow the body to restore its own normal levels of production.

Whilst none of these remedies are cures for snoring in themselves, they do help to alleviate the symptoms of other health conditions that cause snoring and so the snoring problem is often reduced as a welcome side effect of taking these drugs.