Skip to Content

Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone

Generic Name: chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone (KLOR fen IR a meen and HYE droe KOE done)
Brand Name: TussiCaps, Tussionex PennKinetic, S-T Forte 2, HyTan, Novasus, Vituz

Medically reviewed on July 16, 2018

What is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?

Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

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

Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone is a combination medicine used to treat runny nose, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and cough caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

MISUSE OF chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to chlorpheniramine or hydrocodone.

Do not use chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old. Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

If you use hydrocodone while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone.

How should I take chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.

Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone is against the law.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Do not mix the oral suspension with any other liquids or medicines.

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

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 5 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache or skin rash.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

Keep track of your medicine. Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Do not stop using this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using the medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A hydrocodone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other cough or cold medicines that may contain similar ingredients.

Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone side effects

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

Like other narcotic medications, hydrocodone can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

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

  • severe drowsiness;

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;

  • severe constipation;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • a slow heart rate or weak pulse;

  • confusion; or

  • adrenal gland problems--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, feeling weak or tired.

Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • trouble breathing;

  • drowsiness;

  • confusion;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • little or no urination.

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)

Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cold Symptoms:

Immediate-release (IR): 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 20 mL in 24 hours
-Each 5 mL of IR oral solution contains hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg with chlorpheniramine maleate 4 mg

Extended-release (ER): One dose orally every 12 hours
Maximum dose: 2 doses in 24 hours
-A dose equals 1 ER capsule or 5 mL ER suspension; each dose provides hydrocodone polistirex equivalent to 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and chlorpheniramine polistirex equivalent to 8 mg chlorpheniramine maleate

Comments:
-Oral solution and suspension must be measured with an accurate milliliter measuring device; do not use a household teaspoon.

Use: For the symptomatic relief of cough and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergy or a cold.

Usual Adult Dose for Cough:

Immediate-release (IR): 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 20 mL in 24 hours
-Each 5 mL of IR oral solution contains hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg with chlorpheniramine maleate 4 mg

Extended-release (ER): One dose orally every 12 hours
Maximum dose: 2 doses in 24 hours
-A dose equals 1 ER capsule or 5 mL ER suspension; each dose provides hydrocodone polistirex equivalent to 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and chlorpheniramine polistirex equivalent to 8 mg chlorpheniramine maleate

Comments:
-Oral solution and suspension must be measured with an accurate milliliter measuring device; do not use a household teaspoon.

Use: For the symptomatic relief of cough and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergy or a cold.

What other drugs will affect chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Using chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone with other drugs that slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Hide