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Tussin CF

Generic Name: dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine (dex troe meth OR fan, gwye FEN e sin, fen il EFF rin)
Brand Names: Broncotron-D, Dacex-DM, Dacex-PE, Deconex DM, Deconex DMX, Despec DM Syrup, DuraMAX, Duraphen DM, Duraphen Forte, Endacon, Guaphen Forte, Maxiphen-G DM, Mucinex Children's Multi-Symptom Cold, Mucinex Fast-Max Severe Congestion & Cough, Phlemex Forte, Pres Gen Pediatric, Q-Tussin CF, Robafen CF, Robitussin Children's Cough & Cold CF, Robitussin Cough & Cold CF, Robitussin Cough & Cold CF Max, Robitussin Cough & Cold CF To Go, Robitussin Maximum Strength Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Pediatric Cough & Cold CF, Supress-DX, Tusicof, Tussi-Pres, Tussi-Pres Pediatric, Tussin CF, Z-tuss DM, Zotex-EX

Medically reviewed on Sep 13, 2018

What is Tussin CF?

Tussin CF contains a combination of dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex. Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Tussin CF is used to treat cough, stuffy nose, sinus congestion and chest congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Tussin CF will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.

Important information

Do not use Tussin CF if you have untreated or uncontrolled diseases such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.

Do not use Tussin CF if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use Tussin CF if you have untreated or uncontrolled diseases such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.

Do not use Tussin CF if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Tussin CF if you have:

  • diabetes;

  • glaucoma;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;

  • pheochromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor); or

  • cough with mucus, or cough caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Tussin CF will harm an unborn baby. Do not use Tussin CF without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Decongestants may also slow breast milk production. Do not use Tussin CF without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Artificially sweetened cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), check the medication label to see if the product contains phenylalanine.

How should I take Tussin CF?

Use Tussin CF 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. This medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Do not take Tussin CF for longer than 7 days in a row. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache or skin rash.

Do not give Tussin CF to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Measure Tussin CF with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken Tussin CF within the past few days.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Tussin CF is taken when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take 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.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid?

Tussin CF may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Tussin CF.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, or allergy medicine. Dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains a decongestant, expectorant, or cough suppressant.

Tussin CF side effects

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

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast or uneven heart rate;

  • severe dizziness or anxiety, feeling like you might pass out;

  • severe headache;

  • mood changes;

  • fever; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious Tussin CF side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • feeling nervous, restless, or irritable.

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.

What other drugs will affect Tussin CF?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Tussin CF if you are also using an antidepressant, such as:

  • amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol);

  • citalopram (Celexa);

  • doxepin (Sinequan, Silenor);

  • duloxetine (Cymbalta);

  • escitalopram (Lexapro);

  • fluoxetine (Prozac, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra, Symbyax);

  • fluvoxamine (Luvox);

  • nortriptyline (Pamelor);

  • paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva);

  • sertraline (Zoloft);

  • trazodone (Desyrel, Oleptro);

  • venlafaxine (Effexor); or

  • vilazodone (Viibryd).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Tussin CF. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Tussin CF only for the indication prescribed.

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

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