Cough medicines are mostly given to patients presenting with a cough due to acute respiratory tract infections. Although cough is mainly a symptom of acute respiratory tract infections, it is also a symptom of many other diseases which are not of the respiratory system. A cough can be classified as acute if it lasts for 3 weeks or less, prolonged acute if it lasts between 3-8 weeks and chronic if it lasts for longer than 8 weeks. There are many cough medicines available on the market currently such as centrally acting agents, however, some of these medicines lack scientific evidence to support their therapeutic benefits and safety. There is ongoing research to investigate the safety aspects and therapeutic benefits of cough medicines in the management of respiratory diseases. Consequently, a pharmacist must make an informed healthcare decision before dispensing a cough medicine to a patient, taking into consideration its safety and therapeutic aspects. This review article offers insight into the types of cough medicines and their therapeutic applications. This article aims to give pharmacists the knowledge that can assist them in making an informed healthcare decision when dispensing a cough medicine to a patient so that they can ensure optimal patient care.