Bromhexine: Formula, Presentation, Indications, Action Mechanism, Dosage, Side Effects and Warnings

It is a drug with mucolytic action, which is generally used to treat respiratory problems associated with the presence of viscous or excessive mucus.

Bromhexine causes phlegm to become thinner by its secretolytic action, contributing to its expulsion.

Chemical formula

  • C14H20N2Br2.


The active ingredient in Bromhexine is Bromhexine Hydrochloride which comes in the form of 8 mg tablets for adults and 4 mg tablets for pediatric use.

In the solution of 4 mg per 5 ml and syrup of 4 mg per 5 ml, these last in bottles of 100 ml.


Bromhexine is indicated for the treatment of respiratory diseases, which occur accompanied by the formation of viscous secretions.

In cases of chronic and acute bronchitis ( Tracheobronchitis ), bronchial asthma, chronic pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis.

Mechanism of action

Bromhexine is an oral mucolytic agent with a low level of associated toxicity.


It acts on the mucus in the formative stages of the glands, inside the mucus-secreting cells.

The drug interrupts the structure of the fibers of acidic mucopolysaccharides when depolymerizing lysosomal enzymes are released, breaking the networks of tenacious mucoid sputum.

Modifying this structure produces a less viscous mucus, which is easier to expectorate because it induces a copious and thin bronchial secretion and helps the cilia mobilize the mucus out of the lungs.


The age of the patient determines the dosage of Bromhexine.

Use of Bromhexine in oral administration:

  • In children of 2 years, a dose of 2 mg, three times a day, is recommended.
  • In children aged between 2 and 6 years, 4 mg is recommended three times per day.
  • In children aged 6 to 10 years, 6 to 8 mg is recommended three times a day.
  • In children of 10 years and adults, 8 mg is recommended, 3 times a day.
  • If there is a need for a higher dose, it can be increased in adults by administering 16 mg four times a day and in children up to 16 mg, only two times a day.

Use of Bromhexine in the form of inhalations:

  • In children six years of age, administer up to 2 mg two times a day.
  • In children aged 6 and 10 years, administer 2 mg 2 times a day.
  • In children ten years of age, administer 4 mg, 2 times a day.
  • In adults, administer 8 mg, 2 times a day.

The therapeutic effect of Bromhexine usually appears within 4 to 6 days of use. Moreover, the recommended duration of treatment is from 4 to 28 days.

Parenteral administration is used in cases that have a higher degree of commitment and in the postoperative period in order to prevent the accumulation of heavy expectoration in the bronchi.

Bromhexine is administered in a dose of 2 mg for 3 minutes and can be administered intravenously or intramuscularly 2 to 3 times per day.

Side effects

The use of Bromhexine can cause the following side effects:

  • In the central nervous system: Causes dizziness and headaches.
  • In the respiratory system: Bronchospasm and cough product to inhalations of the product may occur.
  • In the digestive system: There is an increase in the activity of hepatic transaminases in blood plasma and gastrointestinal disorders.
  • In dermatological reactions: rashes, and excessive sweating, among others, have been reported.

Warnings and contraindications

This medication is contraindicated for use in patients with known hypersensitivity or idiosyncratic reactions to bromhexine hydrochloride or any of the other components of the product.

Bromhexine is contraindicated in the case of patients suffering from ulcers in the stomach and in patients who have presented gastric hemorrhage since mucolytics can alter the gastric mucosal barrier.

In the case of patients diagnosed with bronchial asthma, the use of Bromhexine is indicated with great caution.

The concomitant use of Bromhexine with preparations containing codeine is not recommended since it makes the expectoration more fluid.

Bromhexine can be administered as part of the combined preparations of plant origin containing essential oils such as menthol, eucalyptus oil, mint, and anise.

The clearance of Bromhexine or its metabolites may be reduced in patients with severe hepatic or renal insufficiency.

Use in pediatric or geriatric patients should be done with caution.

Bromhexine should not be used in the homes of patients infected with infectious mononucleosis.