Understanding and controlling your respiratory allergies

Welltuss EXP

Generic Name: dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine (dye hye dro KOE deen, gwye FEN e sin, and soo doe e FED rin)
Brand Name: Welltuss EXP

What is Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

Dihydrocodeine is in a group of drugs called narcotics. It is a cough suppressant that 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.

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

The combination of dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine is used to treat cough, nasal, and sinus congestion, and to reduce chest congestion caused by the common cold, infections, or allergies.

Dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

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 use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Do not take this medication with alcohol, other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Dihydrocodeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Dihydrocodeine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of one or more types of medicine. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains guaifenesin or pseudoephedrine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

Do not use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;

  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • diabetes;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • low blood pressure;

  • gallbladder disease;

  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;

  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;

  • mental illness; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.

This medication may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Dihydrocodeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Dihydrocodeine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Dihydrocodeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

How should I take Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

Take this medication exactly as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Always ask a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough or cold medicine in very young children.

Measure the liquid form of this medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. 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.

Take dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine with food if it upsets your stomach.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cold medicine within the past few days.

Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since cough or cold medicine is usually taken only as 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. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of dihydrocodeine can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, feeling restless or nervous, extreme dizziness or drowsiness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, pinpoint pupils, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol can increase some of the side effects of dihydrocodeine.

Do not take this medication with narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice. Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cold, allergy, or cough medicine without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine are contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains guaifenesin or pseudoephedrine.

Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine) side effects

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

Stop taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • cold, clammy skin;

  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness, tremors;

  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or

  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness or headache;

  • constipation;

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, mild loss of appetite;

  • feeling excited or restless;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin; or

  • skin rash or itching.

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)

What other drugs will affect Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine)?

Before taking dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • methyldopa (Aldomet);

  • medicines to treat high blood pressure;

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);

  • zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT);

  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), timolol (Blocadren), and others;

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril); or

  • seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can affect dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about Welltuss EXP (dihydrocodeine / guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine)

Consumer resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about dihydrocodeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine.
  • 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: 2.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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