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guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine

Generic Name: guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine (gwye FEN e sin, HYE droe KOE done, SOO doe ee FED rin)
Brand Name: Drituss HD, Entex HC, Hycofenix, Nalex Expectorant, Su-Tuss HD Elixir, Vanacon, ...show all 27 brand names

What is guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.

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

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

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

This medicine will not treat a cough with mucus, or cough that is caused by smoking, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis.

Guaifenesin, hydrocodone, 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 guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

Hydrocodone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.

You should not breast-feed while taking this medicine.

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

Call your doctor right away if you have weak or shallow breathing, confusion, severe weakness, or extreme drowsiness.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

Do not use this medicine within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to guaifenesin, hydrocodone, or pseudoephedrine, or if you have:

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • coronary artery disease (clogged arteries); or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • asthma or other breathing problems;

  • a head injury or increased pressure inside your skull;

  • diabetes;

  • thyroid disorder;

  • Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder);

  • alcoholism or drug addiction;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • stomach problems; or

  • if you use a sedative like Valium (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, and others).

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.

Hydrocodone and pseudoephedrine can pass into breast milk, but effects on the nursing baby are not known. Decongestants can also slow beast milk production. You should not breast-feed while taking this medicine.

Guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Hydrocodone may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine is against the law.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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, heat, and light.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since this medicine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of hydrocodone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme weakness, cold and clammy skin, breathing problems, pounding heartbeats, confusion, hallucinations, slurred speech, blue lips, severe drowsiness, slow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while taking guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

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

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cough or cold medicine. Many combination medicines contain cough suppressants or decongestants. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this medicine.

Guaifenesin, hydrocodone, 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.

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

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

  • severe weakness, severe drowsiness, confusion;

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • tremors, severe restlessness;

  • severe constipation, stomach pain;

  • low blood pressure (feeling light-headed, or like you might pass out);

  • a seizure;

  • painful or difficult urination; or

  • irregular heartbeats.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • headache;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • nausea; or

  • low blood pressure.

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.

Side Effects (complete list)

Guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:

Guaifenesin/hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine 200 mg-6 mg-45 mg/5 mL:
5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 25 mL daily.

Guaifenesin/hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine 50 mg-3.75 mg-22.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
5 to 10 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:

Guaifenesin/hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine 200 mg-6 mg-45 mg/5 mL:
6 to 11 years: 2.5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 12.5 mL daily.
12 years or older: 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 25 mL daily.

Guaifenesin/hydrocodone/pseudoephedrine 50 mg-3.75 mg-22.5 mg/5 mL oral liquid:
2 to 5 years: 2.5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 10 mL daily.
6 to 11 years: 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 20 mL daily.
12 years or older: 5 to 10 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 40 mL daily.

What other drugs will affect guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine?

Taking guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with guaifenesin, hydrocodone, and pseudoephedrine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about guaifenesin, hydrocodone, 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: 4.01.

Date modified: November 15, 2017
Last reviewed: August 25, 2017

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