Acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine Side Effects
Not all side effects for acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
For the Consumer
Applies to acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine: capsules, tablets
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine:
Dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; weakness.
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; stomach pain; tremor; yellowing of skin or eyes.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine: oral capsule, oral liquid, oral powder for reconstitution, oral suspension, oral syrup, oral tablet
Hepatic side effects of acetaminophen have included severe and sometimes fatal dose dependent hepatitis in alcoholic patients. Hepatotoxicity has been increased during fasting.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects of dextromethorphan have included drowsiness and dizziness. Other side effects such as excitation, mental confusion, and opioid like respiratory depression have been rare and occurred at higher dosages. In some cases of abuse, patients experienced euphoria, hyperactivity, mania, and auditory and visual hallucinations.
Nervous system side effects of phenylephrine have included headache, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, tremor, insomnia, convulsions, and central nervous system depression.[Ref]
Cardiovascular side effects of phenylephrine have included palpitations, arrhythmias, and cardiovascular collapse with hypotension.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects of dextromethorphan have included upset stomach.
Gastrointestinal side effects of phenylephrine have included nausea.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects of dextromethorphan have included rare reports of fixed-drug eruptions.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects of phenylephrine have included respiratory difficulty.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects of phenylephrine have included dysuria.[Ref]
General side effects of phenylephrine have included pallor and weakness.[Ref]
Psychiatric side effects of phenylephrine have included hallucinations, fear, and anxiety.[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects associated with acetaminophen includes the risk of rare but potentially fatal serious skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP).
1. Seeff LB, Cuccherini BA, Zimmerman HJ, Adler E, Benjamin SB "Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in alcoholics." Ann Intern Med 104 (1986): 399-404
2. Keaton MR "Acute renal failure in an alcoholic during therapeutic acetaminophen ingestion." South Med J 81 (1988): 1163-6
3. Zimmerman HJ, Maddrey WC "Acetaminophen (paracetamol) hepatotoxicity with regular intake of alcohol: analysis of instances of therapeutic misadventure." Hepatology 22 (1995): 767-73
4. McJunkin B, Barwick KW, Little WC, Winfield JB "Fatal massive hepatic necrosis following acetaminophen overdose." JAMA 236 (1976): 1874-5
5. Kumar S, Rex DK "Failure of physicians to recognize acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in chronic alcoholics." Arch Intern Med 151 (1991): 1189-91
6. Kaysen GA, Pond SM, Roper MH, Menke DJ, Marrama MA "Combined hepatic and renal injury in alcoholics during therapeutic use of acetaminophen." Arch Intern Med 145 (1985): 2019-23
7. O'Dell JR, Zetterman RK, Burnett DA "Centrilobular hepatic fibrosis following acetaminophen-induced hepatic necrosis in an alcoholic." JAMA 255 (1986): 2636-7
8. "Product Information. Lusonal (phenylephrine)." Wraser Pharmaceuticals, Ridgeland, MS.
9. Covington TR, Lawson LC, Young LL, eds. "Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 10th ed." Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association (1993):
10. Wolfe TR, Caravati EM "Massive dextromethorphan ingestion and abuse." Am J Emerg Med 13 (1995): 174-6
11. Murray S, Brewerton T "Abuse of over-the-counter dextromethorphan by teenagers." South Med J 86 (1993): 1151-3
12. Hall RC, Beresford TP, Stickney SK, Nasdahl CS, Coleman JH "Psychiatric reactions produced by respiratory drugs." Psychosomatics 26 (1985): 605-8,616-7
13. Polles A, Griffith JL "Dextromethorphan-induced mania." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 71-4
14. Helfer J, Kim OM "Psychoactive abuse potential of Robitussin-DM." Am J Psychiatry 147 (1990): 672-3
15. Bostwick JM "Dextromethorphan-induced manic symptoms in a bipolar patient on lithium." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 571-2
16. Knowles SR, Weber E "Dextromethorphan anaphylaxis." J Allerg Clin Immunol 102 (1998): 316-7
17. Stubb S, Reitamo S "Fixed-drug eruption due to dextromethorphan ." Arch Dermatol 126 (1990): 970-1
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