Guaifenesin/ dextromethorphan

Generic Name: guaifenesin/dextromethorphan (gwye-FEN-e-sin/DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan and a-SEET-a-MIN-oh-fen/KLOR-fen-IR-a-meen/DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan)
Brand Name: Coricidin HBP Day/Night Multi-Symptom Cold

Guaifenesin/ dextromethorphan is used for:

Temporarily relieving symptoms of minor aches and pains, fever, headache, 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.

Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan is an expectorant, analgesic, antihistamine, and cough suppressant combination. The antihistamine works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing. The expectorant works by loosening mucus and lung secretions in the chest and making coughs more productive. The analgesic and cough suppressant work in the brain to decrease pain and fever, and to reduce a dry or unproductive cough.

Do NOT use guaifenesin/ dextromethorphan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in guaifenesin/dextromethorphan
  • you are unable to urinate or are having an asthma attack
  • you are taking another medicine (prescription or nonprescription) that contains acetaminophen
  • 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.

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Before using guaifenesin/ dextromethorphan:

Some medical conditions may interact with guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. 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 history of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung or breathing problems (eg, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, sleep apnea); if you have a chronic cough; or if your cough occurs with a large amount of mucus
  • if you have a history of glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, heart problems, liver or kidney problems, seizures, or thyroid problems
  • if you have a blockage of your bladder, stomach, or bowels; an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems; or trouble urinating
  • if you drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse or dependence

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

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
  • Abiraterone, furazolidone, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), or sodium oxybate (GHB) because they may increase the risk of guaifenesin/dextromethorphan's side effects
  • Medicines that may harm the liver (eg, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection) because the risk of liver side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver

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

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

  • Take guaifenesin/dextromethorphan by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • This product contains 2 different medicines, one for the morning and one for the evening. Be sure you understand how to take guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure which to take in the morning and which to take in the evening.
  • If you miss a dose of guaifenesin/dextromethorphan and you are taking it regularly, 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 guaifenesin/dextromethorphan.

Important safety information:

  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use guaifenesin/dextromethorphan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you take guaifenesin/dextromethorphan.
  • Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are taking guaifenesin/dextromethorphan; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan has acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin, and dextromethorphan in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has any of these medicines in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not use guaifenesin/dextromethorphan 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 guaifenesin/dextromethorphan for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Contact your doctor if your pain or cough does not improve within 7 days, gets worse, goes away and then comes back, or occurs along with fever, rash, or persistent headache.
  • Contact your doctor if redness or swelling is present, or if new symptoms occur.
  • Contact your doctor if you have a fever that gets worse or lasts for more than 3 days.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan may harm your liver. Your risk may be greater if you drink alcohol while you are taking guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. Talk to your doctor before you take guaifenesin/dextromethorphan or other fever reducers if you drink alcohol.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Contact your doctor right away if you take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen per day, even if you feel well.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan may interfere with skin allergy tests. If you are scheduled for a skin test, talk to your doctor. You may need to stop taking guaifenesin/dextromethorphan for a few days before the tests.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take guaifenesin/dextromethorphan before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use guaifenesin/dextromethorphan with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, or trouble urinating.
  • Caution is advised when using guaifenesin/dextromethorphan in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitability.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old without first checking with the child's doctor; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking guaifenesin/dextromethorphan while you are pregnant. It is not known if guaifenesin/dextromethorphan is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking guaifenesin/dextromethorphan.

Possible side effects of guaifenesin/ dextromethorphan:

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; dry mouth, nose, or throat; excitability; headache; nausea; trouble sleeping; upset stomach.

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); blurred vision or other vision changes; confusion; difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, light-headedness, or headache; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.

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, drowsiness, light-headedness, or headache; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); tremors; unusually fast, slow, or irregular breathing; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of guaifenesin/dextromethorphan:

Store guaifenesin/dextromethorphan at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep guaifenesin/dextromethorphan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about guaifenesin/dextromethorphan, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Guaifenesin/dextromethorphan 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 guaifenesin/dextromethorphan 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 guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to guaifenesin/dextromethorphan. 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 guaifenesin/dextromethorphan.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
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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