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Table of Contents > Drug > Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan, and Phenylephrine Print

Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan, and Phenylephrine

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Alka-Seltzer Plus® Day Cold [OTC];Comtrex® Maximum Strength, Non-Drowsy Cold & Cough [OTC];Mapap® Multi-Symptom Cold [OTC];Theraflu Warming Relief® Daytime Multi-Symptom Cold [OTC];Theraflu Warming Relief® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough [OTC];Theraflu® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough [OTC];Tylenol® Cold Head Congestion Daytime [OTC];Tylenol® Cold Multi-Symptom Daytime [OTC];Vicks® DayQuil® Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom [OTC]
    • Pharmacologic Category: Analgesic, Miscellaneous;Antitussive;Decongestant

    Uses
    • It is used to stop coughing.
    • It is used to ease pain.
    • It is used to treat nose stuffiness.
    • Acetaminophen blocks chemicals that cause pain.
    • Dextromethorphan works on the cough center in the brain.
    • Phenylephrine shrinks swollen nose tissue and opens up passages.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Liver problems may happen.
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • There is a liquid (solution) if you cannot swallow pills.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect capsules from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Talk with the doctor before giving this drug to a child. Check all of your child's drugs, including OTC, with doctor.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, phenylephrine, or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have taken isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine in the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine) must be stopped 14 days before this drug is started. Taking both at the same time could cause risky high blood pressure.

    Precautions

    • Avoid other sources of acetaminophen. An overdose may cause problems.
    • This drug is not for coughs due to smoking or lung disease.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
    • If you abuse beer, wine, or mixed drinks, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you are on a low-salt diet (this drug has salt), talk with your doctor.
    • If you have PKU, talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Avoid or limit drinking wine, beer, or mixed drinks to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease.
    • Limit your use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
    • Be careful if you have G6PD deficiency. Anemia may happen.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Nervous and excitable.
    • Dry mouth. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Not able to sleep.
    • Harm to the liver may rarely happen.

    Monitoring

    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?
    • Dry mouth may cause more cavities. Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Chest pain or pressure, a fast heartbeat, or passing out.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Cough that does not go away.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Yellow skin or eyes.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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