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Acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / guaifenesin / phenylephrine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / guaifenesin / phenylephrine is also known as: Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Severe Cold+Flu Hot Drink Mix, Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Cold, Mucus & Congestion, Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Cough, Mucus & Congestion Liquid Gels, Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Sinus, Cold & Cough Liquid Gels, Cough & Cold Relief, CounterAct Day, Decorel Forte Plus, Delsym Cough+ Cold Day Time, Mucinex Children's Cold, Cough & Sore Throat, Mucinex Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Fever, Mucinex Fast-Max Cold, Flu & Sore Throat, Mucinex Fast-Max Cold, Flu & Sore Throat Liquid Gels, Mucinex Fast-Max Day Time Severe Cold, Mucinex Fast-Max Severe Cold, Mucinex Fast-Max Severe Congestion & Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Pressure, Pain & Cough, Mucus Relief Complete, Non-Pseudo Cold Relief, Phenflu DM, Sudafed PE Cold & Cough, Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe, Tylenol Cold + Mucus Severe, Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Severe (old formulation), Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Severe, Vicks DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 10, 2018.

Acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / guaifenesin / phenylephrine Pregnancy Warnings

The manufacturer makes no recommendation regarding use during pregnancy.

US FDA pregnancy category: Not assigned

Comments:
-Acetaminophen is commonly used during pregnancy and has been assumed safe; recent data questions the safety, especially with routine use or varying genetics.
-Routine use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is not advised.
-Available human data does not demonstrate major teratogenicity with dextromethorphan.
-Fetuses of mothers with slow dextromethorphan metabolism may be exposed to higher concentrations, but the clinical significance is unknown.
-According to some authorities dextromethorphan is compatible with pregnancy; low birth defect incidences were seen in surveillance studies.
-Available data do not indicate developmental toxicity with guaifenesin.
-Phenylephrine is a sympathomimetic used in emergencies to treat hypotension and alleviate eye and ear allergic symptoms.
-Phenylephrine could cause constriction in uterine vessels (that are normally maximally dilated during pregnancy), reducing uterine blood flow, potentially causing fetal hypoxia.
-Phenylephrine may interact with oxytocic or ergot derivatives to cause persistent maternal hypertension; cerebral vessel rupture is possible.
-Sympathomimetic amines are teratogenic in some animal models, but are not suspected to cause human teratogenicity.

Animal studies are not available for the combination product. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy.

Acetaminophen: Routinely used during all stages of pregnancy, it appears safe for short-term use. This drug crosses the placenta.

Dextromethorphan: Available data does not indicate a major teratogenic risk, and a survey study did not show a relationship with congenital malformations.

Guaifenesin: Animal studies are not available. A monitoring study including 197 mother-child pairs that had first trimester guaifenesin exposure showed an increase in inguinal hernias; 1336 any time pregnancy exposures showed no association with malformations.

Phenylephrine: A monitoring study including 1249 mother-child pairs that had first trimester phenylephrine exposure showed an increase in malformation, with association greater with minor defects than major defects (8 eye and ear defects, 6 syndactyly, 4 preauricular skin tags, and 3 clubfoot cases); 4149 any time pregnancy exposures were associated with 15 congenital dislocation of the hip, 6 umbilical hernia, and 4 other musculoskeletal defects. Placental transfer is likely with phenylephrine's low molecular weight (about 167).

US FDA pregnancy category Not Assigned: The US FDA has amended the pregnancy labeling rule for prescription drug products to require labeling that includes a summary of risk, a discussion of the data supporting that summary, and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy. Pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X are being phased out.

See references

Acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / guaifenesin / phenylephrine Breastfeeding Warnings

The manufacturer makes no recommendation regarding use during lactation.

Excreted into human milk: Yes (acetaminophen) /Data not available (dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, phenylephrine)
Excreted into animal milk: Data not available (dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, phenylephrine)

Comments:
-The amount of acetaminophen in breast milk is much less than typical infant doses.
-One study calculated that infants receive about 0.14% of the parental absolute acetaminophen dose, or about 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage.
-Given dextromethorphan's low molecular weight, excretion into breastmilk is probable.
-Guaifenesin from breast milk is not expected to adversely affect nursing infants at normal parental doses.
-Phenylephrine oral bioavailability is about 40%, making it unlikely an infant would receive large doses from breast milk.
-Phenylephrine may decrease milk production.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. "Product Information. Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe (acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/PE)." Johnson and Johnson/McNeil Consumer, Fort Washington, PA.
  2. Briggs GG, Freeman RK. "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 10th ed." Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health (2015):

References for breastfeeding information

  1. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT." ([cited 2013 -]):
  2. "Product Information. Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe (acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/PE)." Johnson and Johnson/McNeil Consumer, Fort Washington, PA.
  3. Briggs GG, Freeman RK. "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 10th ed." Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health (2015):

Further information

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

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