- 1. Promoting secretion from the mucous membrane of the air passages or facilitating its expulsion. 2. An agent that increases bronchial secretion and facilitates its expulsion. [L. ex, out, + pectus, chest]
* * *ex·pec·to·rant ik-'spek-t(ə-)rənt adj having the activity of an expectorantexpectorant n an agent that promotes the discharge or expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract broadly ANTITUSSIVE
* * *n.a drug that enhances the secretion of sputum by the air passages so that it is easier to cough up. Expectorants are used in cough mixtures; they act by increasing the bronchial secretion or make it less viscous (see mucolytic). Drugs such as ipecacuanha are stimulant expectorants in small quantities: they irritate the lining of the stomach, which provides a stimulus for the reflex production of sputum by the glands in the bronchial mucous membrane. At higher doses they produce vomiting.
* * *ex·pec·to·rant (ek-spekґtə-rənt) [ex- + L. pectus breast] 1. promoting the ejection, by spitting, of mucus or other fluids from the lungs and trachea. 2. an agent that promotes the ejection of mucus or exudate from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea; sometimes extended to all remedies that quiet cough (antitussives).
Medical dictionary. 2011.