Dextromethorphan/ doxylamine

Generic Name: dextromethorphan/doxylamine (DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan/dox-IL-a-meen)
Brand Name: Nighttime Cough

Dextromethorphan/ doxylamine is used for:

Relieving symptoms of 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.

Dextromethorphan/doxylamine is a cough suppressant and antihistamine combination. 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 reduce dry or unproductive cough.

Do NOT use dextromethorphan/ doxylamine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dextromethorphan/doxylamine
  • you are unable to urinate or are having an asthma attack
  • you take 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.

Before using dextromethorphan/ doxylamine:

Some medical conditions may interact with dextromethorphan/doxylamine. 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
  • if you have a history of diabetes; heart problems; blood vessel problems; glaucoma or increased eye pressure; a blockage of your bladder, stomach, or bowel; ulcers; trouble urinating; an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems; seizures; an overactive thyroid; or liver problems
  • if you have a history of asthma or other breathing problems, sleep apnea, 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 smoke or are on a sodium-restricted diet

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

  • Furazolidone, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), sodium oxybate (GHB), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of dextromethorphan/doxylamine's side effects
  • Bromocriptine or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by dextromethorphan/doxylamine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dextromethorphan/doxylamine 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 dextromethorphan/ doxylamine:

Use dextromethorphan/doxylamine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take dextromethorphan/doxylamine 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine, 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine.

Important safety information:

  • Dextromethorphan/doxylamine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use dextromethorphan/doxylamine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Dextromethorphan/doxylamine has dextromethorphan and doxylamine in it. Before you start any new medicine check the label to see if it has dextromethorphan and doxylamine in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not use dextromethorphan/doxylamine for a cough with a lot of mucus. Do not use it for a long-term cough (eg, caused by asthma, emphysema, smoking). However, you may use it for these conditions if your doctor tells you to.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take 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.
  • If your cough or other symptoms persist for more than 1 week, come back; or if you also have fever, rash, or persistent headache, check with your doctor.
  • Dextromethorphan/doxylamine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to dextromethorphan/doxylamine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Dextromethorphan/doxylamine may interfere with skin allergy tests. If you are scheduled for a skin test, talk to your doctor. You may need to stop taking dextromethorphan/doxylamine for a few days before the tests.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take dextromethorphan/doxylamine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use dextromethorphan/doxylamine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using dextromethorphan/doxylamine in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitability.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking dextromethorphan/doxylamine, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dextromethorphan/doxylamine while you are pregnant. It is not known if dextromethorphan/doxylamine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dextromethorphan/doxylamine.

Possible side effects of dextromethorphan/ doxylamine:

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; stomach pain; tremor; trouble sleeping; 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine:

Store dextromethorphan/doxylamine 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dextromethorphan/doxylamine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dextromethorphan/doxylamine 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dextromethorphan/doxylamine 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dextromethorphan/doxylamine. 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 dextromethorphan/doxylamine.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
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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