A cough can be a protective action because it helps you keep foreign particles, such as food from going down your airways. However, a cough that lasts for a couple of weeks or a cough that expels blood or abnormally colored phlegm may be a symptom of a medical problem. To stop a cough, it is important to treat the cause of the cough. For example, if your cough is caused by a bacterial infection, you should take the antibiotics prescribed to you by your doctor. To reduce the number and severity of cough cases, there are also some over-the-counter products and home-remedies that people can try to get comfort.