Mucinex is used to help control the symptoms of chest congestion so that your body can clear the infection from your body. This type of medication is known as an expectorant, which thins the mucus so that it is easier for your body to push it out of your airways.
Mucinex is one of many brand names for guarifenesin. Other brand names include Bidex, diabetic Tussin, Ganidin NR, Glytuss, Guaiatussin, Giacacough, Guiatuss, Halotussin, Humibid E, Hytuss, lophen NR, Lotussin, Mallotuss, Mastussin, Miltuss EX, Mytussin, Organ-I NR, Organidin NR, Phanasin, Q-Tussin, Ri-Tussin, Robitussin, Scot-Tussin, Siltussin SA and Tussin. These medications are prescribed to help relieve chest congestion. This medication is available in capsule, tablet, extended release tablet, granules and syrup. Mucinex is also available in many combination products to help relieve other cold symptoms such as antihistamines or cough suppressants.
Extended release tablets should be taken with food every twelve hours and taken with a full glass of water. Most other preparations can be taken without food every 4 hours, or as needed based on the severity of your symptoms. If you are using the liquid form of Mucinex, use the measuring cup which came with your dose to ensure proper dosing. You can ask your pharmacist for a replacement if your dose did not come with a measuring cup. Avoid using more than one over the counter cold product at the same time as this could lead to an overdose. Because Mucinex has such a variety of preparations, you should take care to read all of the instructions so ensure that you are taking the proper dose, especially when giving this medication to children.
Most forms of Mucinex are available over the counter. Because you will be taking this medication without supervision it is important to take care to monitor your use and take the medication the way it has been directed. Make note of any contact information on the package that you can call to ask questions about dosing or safety information. If you are considering giving Mucinex to a child, talk with your doctor about the potential risk for side effects that could occur.
Adults may take 200-400 mg every four hours in varying forms of Mucinex. Doses should not exceed 2400 mg in a 24 hour period. Children ages 12 and older may be able to take a full adult dose of the liquid form. Use of tablets should be based on whether or not the child is able to swallow pills effectively. Children ages 6 to 12 may take 100-200 mg every four hours and should not consume more than 1200 mg in a 24 hour period. Those ages 2-6 may take 5-100 mg every four hours, not exceeding 600 mg in a 24 hour period. Those 6 months to 2 years old should be limited to 25-50 mg every four hours, not exceeding 300 mg every 24 hours. You should consult a doctor about the safety of exposing a child under the age of 4 to Mucinex. Those under 6 months of age should not take Mucinex.
Those with phenylketonuria should not use the dissolving granules of Mucinex. These contain aspartame which could make your condition worse. Ask your pharmacist about alternative forms of this medication which may be more appropriate for you.
Pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should not use Mucinex as it can cause harm to your child. Mucinex has been rated in pregnancy category C. This means that laboratory tests have shown negative reactions by the fetus, but no testing has been done on human subjects yet. However, children under the age of 4 are at an increased risk to develop side effects, which could impact a breastfeeding infant. Talk to your doctor about these risks and determine whether or not the benefits of this medication outweigh these potential risks.
Side effects of Mucinex are not common and are usually not serious. In most cases, these side effects lessen as your body becomes used to the medication and your infection begins to subside. If your side effects do not get better or if they become worse, contact a health care professional to get advice on whether or not you should continue to take your medication. You may have a chest infection that requires prescription care.
Side effects for Mucinex include diarrhea, dizziness, headache, hives, nausea, vomiting, skin rash or stomach pain. If a rash or hives come on suddenly or you begin to have difficulty breathing you may be having an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in Mucinex. Contact emergency medical services to get assistance. If your symptoms do not appear to be life threatening, but still have you concerned, contact the FDA or poison control to get an analysis for your condition.
If you have exceeded your maximum dosing you may be at risk for suffering from an overdose. If you begin to suffer from the side effects above, most notably headache and dizziness in addition to fatigue, extreme nausea, hallucinations or abnormal thoughts then contact poison control or a contact number from the Mucinex packaging to determine how to proceed.
Avoid using cold medication with similar ingredients to Mucinex while this drug is in your system. Read the ingredients on the labels to ensure that you are not inadvertently overdosing on similar medications while treating your condition. If you need more advice in this category, you can speak to your pharmacist for recommendations on which additional medications are safe to use.
You should not use alcohol or tobacco while you are using Mucinex. These substances can cause a negative reaction to the medication which could increase your risk of side effects. Some foods may also cause an upset stomach or a negative reaction. These reactions will vary by patient. If you happen to notice a food that is reacting poorly with your medication, stop eating this food or avoid taking your medication with food to alleviate this reaction.