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Dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine

Generic name: dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine [ DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan-and-SOO-doe-e-FED-rin ]
Brand names: Vicks 44 Cold and Cough LiquiCaps, Vicks 44 Cold and Cough LiquiCaps, Drixoral Cough and Congestion Liquid Caps, Vicks 44D, Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough and Cold, ... show all 20 brands
Dosage form: oral capsule (30 mg-60 mg)
Drug class: Upper respiratory combinations

Medically reviewed by on Aug 1, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine?

There are many brands and forms of dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine available and not all brands are listed on this leaflet.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant.

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

Dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine 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.

Dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine may cause serious side effects. Stop using dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;

  • severe dizziness or drowsiness;

  • nervousness; or

  • trouble sleeping.

Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.

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.


Do not use dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to dextromethorphan or pseudoephedrine.

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 this medicine is safe to use if you have:

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Artificially sweetened liquid medicine may contain phenylalanine. Check the medication label if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Cold or cough medicine is only for short-term use until your symptoms clear up.

Always follow directions on the medicine label about giving cough or cold medicine to a child.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Call 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.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use 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.

What should I avoid while taking dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

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

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

What other drugs will affect dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine with any other medicines, especially drugs that can cause drowsiness (such as opioid medication, sleep medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures). Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible 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.