Mucinex or mucinex d

Mucinex D

Mucinex D is a non-prescription combination medicine that’s used to treat symptoms of the common cold, infections, or allergies.

It contains the drugs guaifenesin (an expectorant), which is also used in other medications marketed under the Mucinex brand, and pseudoephedrine (a nasal decongestant).

Guaifenesin helps loosen chest and throat congestion by thinning mucus. Pseudoephedrine helps relieve a stuffy nose and other mucus effects by shrinking blood vessels in the nasal passages.

The medication is available over-the-counter (OTC) in the United States, except in states that have passed laws to require a prescription.

Mucinex D contains pseudoephedrine (commonly known by the brand name Sudafed), which has also been used in the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine (“meth”), so federal regulations require that it be kept behind the pharmacy counter.

You have to ask your pharmacist for a box, and you may need to register your name when you buy it.

Mucinex D Warnings

You shouldn’t give Mucinex-D to child younger than 12 years old.

Before taking Mucinex D, you should tell your physician if you have or have ever had:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • A vascular condition
  • Breathing problems (such as asthma or emphysema)
  • Glaucoma (an eye disorder)
  • A thyroid disorder

You shouldn’t use Mucinex D if you’ve taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the past 14 days because a dangerous drug interaction can occur.

Don’t take any other OTC cough or cold medication without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist while taking Mucinex-D.

Many other products contain the same ingredients as Mucinex D, so you should read labels carefully to make sure you’re not taking too much guaifenesin or pseudoephedrine by combining drugs.

You should tell your doctor you have been taking Mucinex D before having any type of surgery.

Tell your healthcare provider if your symptoms don’t improve after seven days of taking this medicine or if you have a cough, skin rash, or fever with a headache.

You should drink plenty of fluids while taking Mucinex D, as they help break up mucus and clear congestion.

Pregnancy and Mucinex D

This drug may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking Mucinex D.

Mucinex D may also pass into breast milk and could harm a breastfeeding baby. Talk to your doctor before taking this drug while breastfeeding.

136 Shares By The Recovery Village Editor Thomas Christiansen Reviewer Benjamin Caleb Williams Updated on10/09/19

Alcohol can cause several types of side effects, including dangerous or life-threatening symptoms, when mixed with medications. One medication that is sometimes used at the same time as alcohol is Mucinex.

The brand name Mucinex includes several over-the-counter medications with slightly different names such as Mucinex, Mucinex DM, Mucinex Fast-Max and Mucinex Sinus-Max. Each of these variations includes a combination of medications designed to help with coughs, congestion and cold symptoms. The main ingredients that are consistent throughout Mucinex medications are guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. Both of these ingredients help with coughing or congestion.

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Mucinex

Mixing alcohol and Mucinex can cause many possible side effects, some of which can be dangerous. These side effects include:

  • Increased side effects of the medications
  • Increased intoxication
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Negative interactions with other medications

Increased Side Effects

Mixing alcohol and Mucinex can intensify the side effects of Mucinex. Most people don’t experience any significant side effects from taking Mucinex. When alcohol is combined with Mucinex, people who do experience side effects will likely feel those side effects intensify. People who do not experience side effects when taking Mucinex may find that they start to develop side effects when Mucinex is mixed with alcohol.

Increased Intoxication

Taking Mucinex and alcohol at the same time may lead to increased intoxication. When the body tries to metabolize two substances instead of one, it slows down, which can lead to longer and stronger alcoholic effects. The heightened intoxication may lead to an increased risk of injury and an underestimation of the effects of alcohol. This side effect can be particularly dangerous when driving or doing tasks that require concentration.

Dizziness and Drowsiness

When alcohol and Mucinex are mixed, it can increase a person’s dizziness and drowsiness. A person experienced an increased risk of sustaining an injury when these side effects occur alongside the increased intoxication. Something as mundane as riding a bicycle could become dangerous or even deadly when Mucinex and alcohol are combined.

Side Effects of Other Medications

While Mucinex primarily contains the active ingredients guaifenesin and dextromethorphan, most variations of Mucinex contain other medications designed to help with a variety of symptoms. These additional medications may also mix with alcohol in unanticipated ways that could be dangerous.

Key Points: Mucinex and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and Mucinex can be dangerous or harmful. Some of the key points about mixing the two to keep in mind are:

  • Mucinex is an over-the-counter medication that comes in different varieties for different purposes
  • Mucinex primarily contains guaifenesin and dextromethorphan
  • Alcohol mixed with Mucinex can have unintended side effects, and result in serious injuries
  • Because Mucinex can make people drowsy, the alcohol making people uncoordinated only adds to the risk of sustaining an injury

If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol use, or are mixing alcohol with other substances, you should consider seeking professional help. The Recovery Village has a proven record of treating addictions to alcohol. Reach out to a representative today to see how we can help you start on the path to full recovery.

NIH. “Harmful Interactions.” 2014. Accessed April 10, 2019.

Medscape. “Guaifenesin (OTC).” June 2018. Accessed April 10, 2019.

Medscape. “Dextromethorphan (OTC).” 2019. Accessed April 10, 2019.

Mucinex Professional. “Drug Facts.” 2019. Accessed April 15, 2019.


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Mucinex D for Cold & Allergies: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects

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
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • 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:

  • A headache
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems

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
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • 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.

Breastfeeding FAQs

What can I take for a headache while I am breastfeeding my baby?
Breastfeeding moms can take acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). Aspirin is generally avoided in breastfeeding.

I have a sinus infection and my doctor prescribed amoxicillin. But my baby is getting amoxicillin right now for an ear infection. Is it safe for me to breastfeed?
Yes. Amoxicillin enters breast milk in low amounts, so the amount of this antibiotic in your breast milk will not significantly add to the amount your baby is already getting. Most babies do not have any side effects from amoxicillin in breast milk.

Are cold medications safe to take while I’m breastfeeding?
Many cold preparations are compatible with breastfeeding. It is important to read the ingredients on the package and take only medications that are necessary to treat your specific symptoms. Here is some information about medications that are commonly found in over-the-counter cold preparations:

  • Decongestants that are taken by mouth, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), are not likely to be harmful to a breastfed infant, but may lessen the amount of breast milk that you make. If you have nasal congestion, talk with your healthcare provider about treatment.
  • The expectorant guaifenesin and the cough suppressant dextromethorphan are often found together in products like Mucinex DM or Robitussin DM. Both of these medications are okay to take while breastfeeding.
  • Small, occasional doses of antihistamines are acceptable while nursing. If you need to take an antihistamine for an extended period of time, non-sedating antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), or fexofenadine (Allegra) are preferred.

I am breastfeeding my 3-month-old baby and I was just diagnosed with postpartum depression. My doctor prescribed me an antidepressant. Do I have to stop breastfeeding my baby?
No. In most cases, a woman can continue breastfeeding while taking her antidepressant. Some antidepressants have been better studied and are preferred over others for women who are breastfeeding. Call MotherToBaby Arizona for information about the safety of your medication(s) while breastfeeding.

Can I drink caffeinated beverages while breastfeeding?
Yes, in moderation. Caffeine gets into breast milk and high amounts of caffeine (equivalent to 10 or more cups of coffee daily) can cause fussiness and jitteriness in breastfed babies. Low to moderate amounts of caffeine (less than 300mg/day) are not likely to be harmful while breastfeeding. Babies that are younger than 3 months old break down caffeine more slowly, so may be more affected by caffeine in breast milk.

The approximate amount of caffeine in some common items:

  • 5 oz. cup of coffee = 40-180 mg
  • 5 oz. brewed tea = 20-90 mg
  • 12 oz. Coke = 46 mg
  • Red Bull energy drink = 80 mg
  • 1 cup of coffee ice cream = 58 mg
  • Hershey chocolate bar = 12 mg
  • 8 oz. hot chocolate = 5 mg


Dear Shomoru,
Mucinex D is a combination of guaifenesin (expectorant) and pseudoephedrine (decongestant). We do not have data on how much guaifenesin enters breastmilk, but we know minimal amounts of pseudoephedrine does. The main risk with this combination medication is a decrease in milk supply due to the pseudoephedrine. Since she has an older child who is not dependent on breastmilk for nutrition, the risk would be minimal. Observe child for sedation (guaifenesin) and agitation (pseudoephedrine) although not likely since the child receives small amounts of breastmilk and can process medications well by now. The time the medication would be highest is the first 3 hours after the dose so she may want to avoid that time to decrease risk. Oxymetazoline (Afrin) nasal spray is a topical decongestant that is unlikely to enter plasma in clinically significant amounts; and therefore, unlikely to cause a decrease in milk supply. She could use oxymetazoline along with plain guaifenesin if she needed to protect her milk supply. Oxymetazoline may be used no more than 3 days. The child should be observed for nervousness and should not be used if the child has hypertension or cardiac symptoms.
Cindy Pride, MSN, CPNP
TTUHSC InfantRisk Center

Colds: Sudafed, Mucinex and Breastfeeding

Winter. It’s that time of year when sickness seems never-ending. The common cold often makes its way around from family to family. Many say that there should be a law against mothers getting sick, but unfortunately, sickness happens. Usually harmless, the common cold is more of a nuisance than anything. Breastfeeding mothers may wonder, “Can I take medications to help ease the severity of my symptoms? Are Mucinex and breastfeeding compatible? What about Sudafed?”

Taking over-the-counter medications will not cure your cold, but it will help relieve the symptoms. Two common medications include:

  1. Mucinex (the trade name for guaifenesin) helps thin and loosen mucus so you can cough it out. Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) is often found in combination with guaifenesin, and both of these are safe to take while breastfeeding. (In addition to Mucinex, guaifenesin is also the active ingredient found in Robitussin.)
  2. Sudafed (trade name for pseudoephedrine) is a decongestant. This medication is also safe to take while breastfeeding, but in some women it can cause a reduction in breast milk supply. If you already suffer from low supply issues, use cautiously and if your supply drops, stop taking it. It can also cause irritability in some babies.

A few tips when looking at medications:

  • Always look at the active ingredients on medications. Often cold medications have more than one active ingredient listed and if you decide to take more than one medication, you may accidentally take more than you should.
  • Treat the symptoms you have. I avoid taking medications that treat a combination of symptoms unless I actually have all of those symptoms. (Reading the active ingredients will tell you the symptoms that the medication treats.)
  • If you are unsure if a medication is safe to take while you are breastfeeding, call your doctor or a lactation consultant.

The most important things you can do:

  1. Get plenty of rest. If you are able to, sleep when your baby is sleeping. If you have a family member nearby who is willing and able to help, see if they can help you out for an hour or two.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, bone broth, and green tea with the following added to it: honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Use a humidifier. This will make the air slightly more humid, which will make it easier for you to breathe.

Source here and here.

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