Mucinex D is one of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs used for reliving cold and allergy symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, cough, and general congestion. This medication contains a combination of pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin. While guaifenesin works as an expectorant, pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that works on shrinking the blood vessels in your nasal passages to give relief from nasal congestion or stuffy nose. This drug has many uses and today we look at its uses, its prescribed dosage and the commonly associated side effects of Mucinex D.
Mucinex D for Cold & Allergies: What Are Its Uses?
When you are suffering from cold and flu or even when your allergies act up, the symptoms are indeed very bothersome. When relief is not in sight and not even natural home remedies seem to work, then we tend to consider over-the-counter (OTC) medications to get relief from these troublesome symptoms. Mucinex D is one such OTC drug that can help you when you are suffering from a cough, cold and allergy. Mucinex D is an extended-release tablet that contains the active ingredients guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine.
The two main active ingredients in Mucinex D help in the treatment of sinus and nasal congestion, as well as reducing chest congestion that occurs because of the common cold, allergies, and even infections. Guaifenesin works as an expectorant and helps to loosen the congestion in your throat and chest. It thus makes it easier for you cough out the mucus from your mouth. The other active ingredient, pseudoephedrine, works as a decongestant and is responsible for shrinking the blood vessels in the nasal passages, giving relief from nasal congestion or stuffy nose. When you are unwell, dilated blood vessels in your nasal passages cause nasal congestion.
Mucinex D is not effective for treating a cough that occurs due to smoking or breathing problems that have been going on for a prolonged period of time such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
If you have not consulted your doctor before taking Mucinex D, then it is necessary that you read the instruction package that comes with the medication before using the product.
This medication is not safe and effective in children below the age of 6 years. Therefore, it is not recommended that you use Mucinex D for treating cold and cough symptoms in children below the age of 6 years.
Keep in mind that Mucinex D will not cure your condition or shorten the duration of the common cold or allergy. It may also have some serious side effects associated with it. Therefore, do remember to follow all the dosage directions and package instructions to minimize the risk of side effects. If you are having Mucinex D, then do not consume any other cough and cold medication that contain the same or similar active ingredients as Mucinex D.
What is The Correct Dosage of Mucinex D?
The Mucinex D Extended Release 12-Hr tablet is to be taken orally by mouth. You can either have it with food or without food. It is to be taken every 12 hours with a full glass of water or as per your doctor’s instructions. If you notice a stomach upset after having Mucinex D, then it is recommended you take the medication with food or milk. If you are self-treating with Mucinex D, then it is important to follow all the instructions in the product package. It is advisable that you don’t consume the medication close to bedtime as it can cause problems in sleeping.
The dosage of Mucinex D is based on your age, your medical condition, and your response to the treatment. However, whatever the case, you should not take more than two doses in a day and do not increase your dose more than what is given in the instruction package.
Swallow the capsules whole and do not try to open them. Do not chew or crush the capsules/tablets. Crushing or chewing the tablet/capsule will release the entire drug at one go and increase the risk of side effects as well.
While taking Mucinex D, continue to drink plenty of water or fluids as this will further help in dissolving or breaking up mucus and phlegm, clearing away the congestion. Also, avoid consuming caffeine while on Mucinex D as it can increase the side effects of this drug. Therefore, avoid beverages such as coffee, colas, tea, as well as large amounts of chocolate. Also, do not take nonprescription medications that contain caffeine.
What Are The Side Effects of Mucinex D?
The main active ingredients in Mucinex D are guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. Each of these ingredients is known to affect different parts of the body in different ways. Let us look at the side effects caused by Mucinex D on the different systems of the body.
Side effects on the cardiovascular system: The ingredient pseudoephedrine contained in Mucinex D is known to increase your blood pressure as well as impact your heart. While having Mucinex D, if you notice the following heart-related side effects then it is important to seek medical help immediately. These symptoms include a pounding heart beat and/or increase in heart rate. If these symptoms are mild, then you will probably not even notice them, but if they persist and are severe, then consult your doctor.
Side effects on the nervous system: Both the active ingredients in this drug are known to have an effect on your nervous system. While these side effects are known to be rare, they might leave you feeling even more uncomfortable. The Side Effects Of Guaifenesin Can Include:
- A headache
- Guaifenesin’s side effects are generally well-tolerated by the body and tend to be mild.
Meanwhile, The Side Effects Stemming From Pseudoephedrine May Include:
If you feel the symptoms are increasing in intensity, then consulting a doctor is a good idea.
Side Effects On The Digestive System: Pseudoephedrine is known to cause the following side effects related to your digestive system:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- On the other hand, guaifenesin rarely causes any side effects related to the digestive system.
- Sometimes taking Mucinex D with food or milk can help with nausea and vomiting.
Allergic reactions and side effects on the skin: It is possible for some individuals to be allergic to Mucinex D. Being allergic to this drug can cause a rash on your skin. If you notice skin rashes then discontinues the medication and seek medical help.
There are also side effects that can occur from the overuse of Mucinex D. These can include:
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Increase in blood pressure
- Severe diarrhea
- Severe stomach pain
- Severe nausea and/or vomiting
- Kidney stones
- Nerve or brain damage
Therefore, it is very important you follow the dosage instructions on the package or as per your doctor’s prescription.
Apart from all the above-mentioned side effects, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should rush to the emergency room immediately:
- Worsening rash
- Swelling of lips or tongue
- Having difficulty in breathing.