Medically the review by Darren Hein, PharmD — written by college of Illinois — update on September 2, 2018


Mucinex and also Nyquil Cold & Flu space two common, over-the-counter remedies girlfriend can find on your pharmacist’s shelf. Compare the symptoms that each drug treats and also their side effects, interactions, and warnings to watch if one is a better option because that you.

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The key differences in between these drugs space their active ingredients and also how those occupational to treat her symptoms.

Mucinex treats chest congestion. The main energetic ingredient is one expectorant referred to as guaifenesin. It functions by thinning the consistency of mucus in your air passages. This i m going up mucus in her chest therefore you have the right to cough that up and out.

NyQuil temporary treats typical cold and flu symptom such as fever, cough, nasal congestion, minor aches and also pains, headache, and also runny nose and also sneezing. The active ingredients space acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. These ingredients each work a small differently.

For example, paracetamol is a ache reliever and also fever reducer. It transforms the means your human body senses pain and regulates temperature. Dextromethorphan suppresses the signals in your brain that trigger your coughing reflex. Doxylamine, on the other hand, blocks a substance in your body dubbed histamine. This substance causes allergy symptom such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and also itchy sleep or throat. Together, this ingredients administer the relief you can acquire from NyQuil.

The following table summarizes the differences between Mucinex and also NyQuil at a glance.

Active ingredient(s)guaifenesinacetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine
Symptom(s) treatedchest congestionfever, cough, nasal congestion, young aches and pains, headache, ill throat, runny nose, sneezing
Usagethroughout the dayat night
Formsextended-release dental tablet*, dental granulesoral fluid capsule, oral solution
Risk that interactionsnoyes
Risk of significant side effectsnoyes

*There is also an extra-strength type of this tablet, which has twice as much of the active ingredient.

Forms and dosage

You can use Mucinex throughout the day, however you commonly use NyQuil in ~ night to aid you sleep and also let her body recover. The ingredient doxylamine in NyQuil additionally causes drowsiness to assist you get rest.

Mucinex and also NyQuil Cold & Flu are just for people 12 years and older. However, NyQuil has other assets that are specifically made for children ages 4 come 11 years.

The encourage dosage because that each medicine varies follow to the form. Monitor the encourage dosage top top the package of whatever form you choose. You will have to ask your physician for the exactly dosage that NyQuil to offer to youngsters who are 4 to 11 years old.

Mucinex walk not have actually the risk of severe side effects. However, the following serious side effects may be feasible with NyQuil:

vision problems, such as blurry visiondifficulty urinatingallergic reaction, with symptoms together as:red, peeling or blistering skinrashhivesitchingswelling the the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, or reduced legsdifficulty breathing or swallowing

If you have serious next effects, you should stop utilizing the drug and call your doctor.


Drug interactions can increase or decrease the impact of the various other medications. Interaction can additionally increase your danger of side effects. There space no known significant interactions with guaifenesin, the energetic ingredient in Mucinex. However, every three energetic ingredients the NyQuil interact with other drugs.

Acetaminophen can communicate with:

warfarinisoniazidcarbamazepine (Tegretol)phenobarbitalphenytoin (Dilantin)phenothiazines

Dextromethorphan can connect with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine (Nardil)selegilinetranylcypromine (Parnate)

Doxylamine can interact with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine selegilinetranylcyprominelinezolidopioids such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and morphine

You shouldn’t usage Mucinex or NyQuil come treat a irreversible cough. Utilizing too lot can reason harmful effects. You also shouldn’t usage these assets to treat symptom of any medical condition you have actually without talking to your doctor first.

Other conditions

Other conditions you may have actually can affect how NyQuil works for you. In part conditions, this drug can be harmful. Questioning a doctor prior to using NyQuil if you have:

liver diseaseglaucomaurinating as result of enlarged prostate gland


Don’t use Mucinex or NyQuil for longer than seven days. If her symptoms aren’t relieved ~ a week, contact your doctor and also stop using these drugs.

NyQuil has acetaminophen, which can cause far-ranging liver damages if you overuse it. Taking an ext than four doses of NyQuil in 24 hrs can cause severe liver damage. Countless over-the-counter drugs additionally contain acetaminophen. If you take it NyQuil, make sure you don’t take it with various other drugs that contain acetaminophen. This will help make sure you nothing accidentally usage too much of the drug.

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Mucinex and also NyQuil room both commodities that relax symptoms the the usual cold or flu. The symptom they treat space different. You have the right to take Mucinex and NyQuil with each other safely if you monitor the recommended dosage because that each drug. However, taking Mucinex in ~ night with NyQuil can actually store you indigenous falling asleep. Mucinex will loosen your mucus, which can reason you come wake approximately cough.

Deciding between the two might simply mean choosing the drug that treats the symptom that are bothering friend the most. That course, you should never take any kind of drug if you’re not sure how to usage it or if it’s right for you. Constantly talk come your medical professional if you have questions.