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Chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid

Generic Name: chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine (klor-fen-EER-a-meen/hye-droe-KOE-done/fen-ill-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Maxi-Tuss HCX and Relacon-HC

Chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid is used for:

Relieving symptoms of sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and cough due to colds, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid is a decongestant, antihistamine, and cough suppressant combination. The decongestant works by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling in the nasal passages. The antihistamine works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms, such as watery eyes and sneezing. The cough suppressant works in the brain to help decrease the cough reflex, which reduces a dry cough.

Do NOT use chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid or any other codeine- or morphine-related medicine (eg, codeine)
  • you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems
  • you are unable to urinate or are having an asthma attack
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB) or you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: OTC Medication Use In Pregnancy: Wise or Worrisome?

Before using chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid:

Some medical conditions may interact with chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, blood vessel problems, or other heart problems
  • if you have a history of adrenal gland problems (eg, adrenal gland tumor); high blood pressure; diabetes; stroke; glaucoma; a blockage of your bladder, stomach, or intestines; ulcers; trouble urinating; an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems; or an overactive thyroid
  • if you have a history of asthma, chronic cough, lung problems (eg, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or if your cough occurs with large amounts of mucus
  • if you have or recently have had any head or brain injury, brain tumor, increased pressure in the brain, infection of the brain or nervous system, epilepsy, or seizures
  • if you have a history of stomach problems (eg, ulcers), bowel problems (eg, chronic inflammation or ulceration of the bowel), or gallbladder problems (eg, gallstones), or if you have had recent abdominal surgery
  • if you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse or suicidal thoughts or behavior

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, tolcapone), furazolidone, indomethacin, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid's side effects
  • Cimetidine, digoxin, droxidopa, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of severe drowsiness, breathing problems, seizures, irregular heartbeat, or heart attack may be increased
  • Naltrexone because it may decrease chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid's effectiveness
  • Bromocriptine or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid
  • Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because their effectiveness may be decreased by chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid:

Use chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid by mouth with or without food.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid.

Important safety information:

  • Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not take diet or appetite control medicines while you take chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid without checking with your doctor.
  • Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid has chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has chlorpheniramine or phenylephrine in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 5 to 7 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid may interfere with skin allergy tests. If you are scheduled for a skin test, talk to your doctor. You may need to stop taking chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid for a few days before the tests.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid while you are pregnant. It is not known if chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you suddenly stop taking chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms including anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea; vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; rapid heartbeat; seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping.

Possible side effects of chlorpheniramine/ hydrocodone/ phenylephrine liquid:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; excitability; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; tremor; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid:

Store chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about chlorpheniramine/hydrocodone/phenylephrine liquid. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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