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Does NyQuil have alcohol in it?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 31, 2024.

Official answer


Yes, NyQuil Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid contains 10% alcohol. Alcohol is present in the medicine to help dissolve the active ingredients. An alcohol-free version of this medicine is also available.

There are many NyQuil brand products available at the pharmacy. Not all Vicks NyQuil products contain alcohol, so check the label if you need to avoid alcohol. Speak to your pharmacist to determine which product may be best for you or your child. Follow the directions on the package labeling before use.

Related: Compare NyQuil Products

Which NyQuil products contain alcohol?

Examples of Nyquil products that DO contain alcohol include:

  • NyQuil Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid, Original Flavor
  • NyQuil VapoCool Severe Cold & Flu Liquid + Congestion
  • NyQuil HBP (High Blood Pressure) Cold and Flu Medicine

Alcohol (ethanol) is considered an inactive ingredient in NyQuil. Ethanol is another name for alcohol, a common type of alcohol used in medicine.

Which NyQuil products do not have alcohol?

Examples of Vicks NyQuil products that DO NOT contain alcohol include:

What does NyQuil do?

NyQuil is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that treats nighttime symptoms of the common cold and flu. These symptoms include: sneezing, sore throat, headache, minor aches and pains, fever, runny nose, and cough.

NyQuil can cause you to feel very sleepy or drowsy. Be careful when driving or operating machinery. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while you are using NyQuil. Alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers can increase drowsiness when used with NyQuil. Check with your doctor or pharmacist first before using NyQuil with these products.

In children, NyQuil may cause excitability.

NyQuil Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid has three active ingredients:

Some NyQuil products, for example, NyQuil Severe, also contain phenylephrine, a decongestant.

This is not all the information you need to know about NyQuil for safe and effective use and does not take the place of the directions on the label. Review the full product information, and discuss any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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