What Is Mucinex DM (Dextromethorphan & Guaifenesin)?
Mucinex DM is a cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, and guaifenesin, an expectorant.
This combination of two drugs helps loosen mucus and phlegm, and thin out bronchial secretions, making coughs more productive.
Mucinex DM helps to lower the intensity of coughing and the urge to cough, so you can sleep better.
Originally manufactured as a prescription drug, Mucinex DM was switched to over-the-counter (OTC) status in 2014.
It is distributed by Reckitt Benckiser in two strengths: Mucinex DM has 30 milligrams of dextromethorphan and 600 mg of guaifenesin; Mucinex DM Maximum Strength has 60 mg of dextromethorphan and 1200 mg of guaifenesin.
Tablets are formulated as extended release, which are meant to work for 12 hours. Mucinex DM is for adults and children age 12 years and older.
Many other OTC brands of cough suppressants and expectorants containing dextromethorphan and guaifenesin exist, including others marketed under the Mucinex brand.
In 2007, the FDA began to take action against companies that marketed drugs containing guaifenesin in time-release formulations that did not have FDA approval.
The FDA took this measure to be sure these products released the active ingredients in a safe manner.
Mucinex DM tablets have a distinct odor caused by the guaifenesin, the drug maker says.
Mucinex DM Warnings
You should not take Mucinex DM if you are taking prescription drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These include isocarboxazid (Marplan), Naardil (phenelzine), Parnate (tranylcypromine), and others.
You should also not take Mucinex DM if you are on certain other antidepressants or on medication to treat Parkinson's disease.
Pregnancy and Mucinex DM
Mucinex DM might cause harm to a developing fetus. If you're pregnant, don't take Mucinex DM without first asking your doctor.
If you are breastfeeding, check with your doctor before taking Mucinex DM.
According to some unsubstantiated Internet reports, a certain number of women believe that taking Mucinex DM may help them get pregnant, perhaps by thinning their cervical mucus and making it easier for the sperm to swim up and meet the egg.
On pregnancy and fertility websites for consumers, some women claim it helps, while others do not think so. However, the evidence appears to be entirely anecdotal.
Mucinex DM Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Mucinex DM
Among the commonly reported side effects of Mucinex DM are:
- Upset stomach
- Drowsiness or dizziness
Call your doctor if those symptoms persist or are bothersome.
Severe Side Effects of Mucinex DM
If the following side effects occur while you are taking Mucinex DM, call your doctor right away or go to the closest emergency room immediately:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest tightness
- Hives, itching, rash
- Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue or face
These symptoms indicate a potential severe allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
Mucinex DM Interactions
You should always tell your doctor about any prescription, non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), illegal and recreational drugs, herbal remedies, nutritional and dietary supplements, and all other drugs and treatments you're taking.
Mucinex DM and Drug Interactions
Mucinex DM can interact with some other medications including certain antidepressants and drugs for Parkinson's disease.
Be sure your doctor knows if you are on these medicines.
Mucinex DM and Alcohol
Drinking alcohol while taking Mucinex DM may intensify side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness.
Ask your doctor if you should avoid alcohol or limit it while on Mucinex DM.
Mucinex DM and Grapefruit
If you take Mucinex DM with certain liquids, including grapefruit and orange juices as well as milk and caffeinated beverages, it may lower the absorption of the medicine. Avoid these citrus products while taking Mucinex DM.
The drug manufacturer recommends taking Mucinex with a full glass of water. It does not need to be taken with food.
Mucinex DM Dosage
When you take Mucinex DM, do not crush, break, or chew the tablets. This may interfere with the extended release feature of the medicine.
The dose you take depends on whether you are taking regular Mucinex DM or Maximum Strength.
For Mucinex DM:
- One or two tablets every 12 hours
For Mucinex DM Maximum Strength:
- One tablet every 12 hours
Mucinex DM is meant for short-term use to minimize symptoms of cough.
Some people start to feel the effects of the medicine fairly quickly after the first dose. For others, it may take several doses to begin to feel better.
Video: Mucinex DM maximum strength review
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