dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine

Generic Name: dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine (dex troe meth OR fan, gwye FEN e sin, fen il EFF rin)
Brand Name: Adult Severe Congestion & Cough, Broncotron Ped, Broncotron-D, Dacex-DM, Deconex DM, Desgen, Despec DM Syrup, Duravent DM, Giltuss, G-Supress DX, G-Tron Ped, G-Tusicof, Maxiphen-G DM, Mucinex Children's Multi-Symptom Cold, Phlemex Forte, Pres Gen, Robitussin Children's Cough & Cold CF, Supress-DX, Tusicof, Tussin CF, Tussi-Pres, Zotex-EX, Z-tuss DM, ...show all 77 brand names

What is dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine?

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine is a combination medicine used to treat cough, stuffy nose, sinus congestion and chest congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

This medicine will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.

Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about this medicine?

Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking this medicine?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, or phenylephrine.

Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine if you have:

  • high blood pressure or coronary artery disease;

  • diabetes;

  • glaucoma;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;

  • pheochromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor); or

  • cough with mucus, or cough caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

This medicine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Decongestants may also slow breast milk production. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Artificially sweetened cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), check the medication label to see if the product contains phenylalanine.

How should I take this medicine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cough and cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken this medicine within the past few days.

Do not take for longer than 7 days in a row. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache or skin rash.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since this medicine is taken when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking this medicine?

This medicine may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of this medicine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, or allergy medicine. Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains a decongestant, expectorant, or cough suppressant.

This medicine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or uneven heart rate;

  • severe dizziness or anxiety, feeling like you might pass out;

  • severe headache;

  • mood changes;

  • fever; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • feeling nervous, restless, or irritable.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 100 mg/phenylephrine 5 mg/5 mL:
10 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 300 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/5 mL:
10 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 100 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/5 mL:
5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 30 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 5 mg/5 mL:
10 mL orally every 8 hours not to exceed 30 mL daily

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 800 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 to 1.5 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 28 mg/guaifenesin 388 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablets:
1 tablet orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours

Dextromethorphan 28 mg/guaifenesin 388 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg /5 mL oral liquid:
5 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 900 mg/phenylephrine 30 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 175 mg/phenylephrine 12.5 mg/5 mL:
5 mL orally four times daily.

Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 550 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, and Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 to 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 1000 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 1200 mg/phenylephrine 30 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 to 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 4 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 40 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg/10 mL extended release suspension:
10 mL orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 45 mg/guaifenesin 1200 mg/phenylephrine 25 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 60 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 40 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 60 mg/guaifenesin 1000 mg/phenylephrine 40 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 800 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 to 1.5 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
1 or 2 tablets orally twice a day not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 14 mg-288 mg-7 mg oral capsule:
1 capsule orally every 4 to 6 hours.

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 380 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral capsule:
1 capsule orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 400 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablet:
1 tablet orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/10 mL oral liquid:
1 prefilled spoon (10 mL) orally every 4 hours.

Dextromethorphan 5 mg/guaifenesin 50 mg/phenylephrine 2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
20 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 15 mg-350 mg-12 mg oral tablet:
1 tablet orally every 6 hours, not to exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 10 mg-200 mg-5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
10 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 20 mg-400 mg-10 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
5 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 5 mg-75 mg-2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
20 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 20 mg-400 mg-10 mg/20 mL oral liquid:
20 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:

Dextromethorphan 5 mg/guaifenesin 50 mg/phenylephrine 2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
over 6 months to less than 9 months: 0.75 mL orally 4 times daily.
over 9 months to 18 months: 1 mL orally 4 times daily.

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 100 mg/phenylephrine 5 mg/5 mL:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 2.5 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 10 mL daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 5 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 20 mL daily.
over 12 yrs: 10 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 300 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/5 mL:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 5 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 20 mL daily.
over 12 yrs: 10 mL orally every 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 100 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/5 mL:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 1.25 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 7.5 mL daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 2.5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 15 mL daily.
over 12 yrs: 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 30 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 5 mg/5 mL:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 2.5 mL orally every 8 hours not to exceed 7.5 mL daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 5 mL orally every 8 hours not to exceed 15 mL daily.
over 12 yrs: 10 mL orally every 8 hours not to exceed 30 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 175 mg/phenylephrine 12.5 mg/5 mL oral syrup:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 1.25 mL orally four times daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 2.5 mL orally four times daily.
over 12 yrs: 5 mL orally four times daily.

Dextromethorphan 23 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 9 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: one half tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily
over 12 yrs: 1 or 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 4 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 800 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 to 1.5 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 550 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 to 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 25 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 to 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 1/2 tablet daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 to 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 3 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 1200 mg/phenylephrine 30 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 to 2 tablets orally every 12 hours not to exceed 4 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 1000 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 40 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg/10 mL:
over 3 yrs to less than 6 yrs: 2.5 mL orally every 12 hours not to exceed 5 mL daily.
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 5 mL orally every 12 hours not to exceed 10 mL daily.
over 12 yrs: 10 mL orally every 12 hours not to exceed 20 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 45 mg/guaifenesin 1200 mg/phenylephrine 25 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 60 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 40 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 60 mg/guaifenesin 1000 mg/phenylephrine 40 mg oral tablets, extended release:
over 6 yrs to less than 12 yrs: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.
over 12 yrs: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan 5 mg/guaifenesin 100 mg/phenylephrine 2.5 mg/5 mL:
over 2 yrs to less than 6 yrs and 11 kg to 21 kg: 2.5 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 15 mL daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 900 mg/phenylephrine 30 mg oral tablets, extended release:
6 years to 12 years: 1/2 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 1 tablet daily.
12 years or older: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours not to exceed 2 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 30 mg/guaifenesin 600 mg/phenylephrine 20 mg oral tablets, extended release:
12 years or older: 1 or 2 tablets orally twice a day not to exceed 2 doses daily.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 14 mg-288 mg-7 mg oral capsule:
over 12 yrs: 1 capsule orally every 4 to 6 hours.

Dextromethorphan 15 mg/guaifenesin 380 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral capsule:
12 years or older: 1 capsule orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 tablets daily.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 400 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablet:
6 years to 12 years: 1/2 tablet orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 2 tablets in 24 hours.
over 12 yrs 1 tablet orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan 20 mg/guaifenesin 200 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg/10 mL oral liquid:
12 years or older: 1 prefilled spoon (10 mL) orally every 4 hours.

Dextromethorphan 5 mg/guaifenesin 50 mg/phenylephrine 2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
4 years to 5 years: 5 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 doses in 24 hours.
6 years to 11 years: 10 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 doses in 24 hours.
12 years or older: 20 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 15 mg-350 mg-12 mg oral tablet:
12 years or older: 1 tablet orally every 6 hours, not to exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 10 mg-200 mg-5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
12 years or older: 10 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 5 mg-100 mg-2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
4 years to 5 years: 5 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 doses in 24 hours.
6 years to 11 years: 10 mL orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 20 mg-400 mg-10 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
12 years or older: 5 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 5 mg-75 mg-2.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
2 years to 5 years: 5 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.
6 years to 11 years: 10 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.
12 years or older: 20 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine 20 mg-400 mg-10 mg/20 mL oral liquid:
12 years or older: 20 mL orally every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in 24 hours.

Dextromethorphan 28 mg/guaifenesin 388 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg oral tablets:
Over 12 years of age: 1 tablet orally every 4 hours not to exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours
6 years to under 12 years of age: 1/2 tablet orally every 4 hours not to exceed 3 tablets in 24 hours

Dextromethorphan 28 mg/guaifenesin 388 mg/phenylephrine 10 mg /5 mL oral liquid:
12 years and over: 5 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours
6 years to under 12 years of age: 2.5 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours
2 years to 6 years of age: 1.25 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours

Dextromethorphan 7.5 mg/guaifenesin 88 mg/phenylephrine 2.5 mg /1 mL oral liquid:
6 years to under 12 years of age: 2 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours
2 years to 6 years of age: 1 mL orally every 6 to 8 hours not to exceed 4 doses 24 hours

What other drugs will affect dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using this medicine if you are also using any other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used together. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking this medicine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.17. Revision Date: 2014-04-09, 3:30:52 PM.

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