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Guaifenesin/ phenylephrine

Generic Name: guaifenesin/phenylephrine (gwye-FEN-e-sin/fen-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Zotex-GP

Guaifenesin/ phenylephrine is used for:

Relieving symptoms of congestion, cough, and throat and airway irritation due to colds, flu, or hay fever. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Guaifenesin/phenylephrine is a decongestant and expectorant combination. It works by constricting blood vessels and shrinking swollen and congested nasal tissues (mucous membranes) and by thinning and loosening mucus in the airway. This allows you to breathe more easily and makes coughs more productive.

Do NOT use guaifenesin/ phenylephrine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in guaifenesin/phenylephrine
  • you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems
  • 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 guaifenesin/ phenylephrine:

Some medical conditions may interact with guaifenesin/phenylephrine. 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 adrenal gland problems (eg, tumor), heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart blood vessel problems, stroke, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, seizures, or an overactive thyroid
  • if you have chronic cough

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with guaifenesin/phenylephrine. 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 guaifenesin/phenylephrine's side effects
  • Digoxin or droxidopa because the risk of irregular heartbeat or heart attack may be increased
  • Bromocriptine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by guaifenesin/phenylephrine
  • Guanethidine, guanadrel, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because their effectiveness may be decreased by guaifenesin/phenylephrine

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

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

  • Take guaifenesin/phenylephrine by mouth with or without food.
  • Take guaifenesin/phenylephrine with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL) unless your doctor directs otherwise.
  • Swallow guaifenesin/phenylephrine whole. Do not crush or chew before swallowing. Some brands of guaifenesin/phenylephrine may be broken in half before they are taken. If you have difficulty swallowing the whole tablet, ask your pharmacist if your brand may be broken in half.
  • If you miss a dose of guaifenesin/phenylephrine, 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/phenylephrine.

Important safety information:

  • Guaifenesin/phenylephrine may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use guaifenesin/phenylephrine 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 are taking guaifenesin/phenylephrine without checking with you doctor.
  • 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.
  • Guaifenesin/phenylephrine may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking guaifenesin/phenylephrine.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take guaifenesin/phenylephrine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use guaifenesin/phenylephrine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using guaifenesin/phenylephrine 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 guaifenesin/phenylephrine while you are pregnant. It is not known if guaifenesin/phenylephrine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking guaifenesin/phenylephrine.

Possible side effects of guaifenesin/ phenylephrine:

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:

Dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; 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; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; tremor.

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 guaifenesin/phenylephrine:

Store guaifenesin/phenylephrine 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 guaifenesin/phenylephrine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

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

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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