Articles, DRUGS

Guaifenesin (Mucinex) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Pollution still remains one of the rising issues that the world at present has no longer any control over. It used to be a world filled with lush green fields, crops swaying in the wind, people living their life the simplest way possible. While there are still places on this earth that would inhibit the same aura, it is honestly a rare sight as the world rampant in urbanization has swooped over the lush green fields and while the crops still sway in the wind, most of them are fertilized with pesticides and insecticides to ensure more quantity than quality. At present even the fuel consumption is at its highest peak, ever so much that we have gone so far as to blow a hole in the very ozone layer that protects the earth.

One of the most raging pollution that harms people the most and more easily is the air pollution which causes nasty cough and cold if not downright breathing troubles that one throughout the course may develop. While there are some persistent coughing problems like that of a chain smokers or a person with heavy breathing issues, bronchial infection and something along that line, there are smaller more familiar cases too like a nasty hay fever cough, or a mucous buildup in the chest that leads to dry wheezing coughs and sore throats. While the long term problems cannot be kept in leash, here is a medicinal drug that can help you get rid of common cold problems. The drug mentioned here is called Guaifenesin.

guaifenesin (mucinex)

The main aim of this drug is to relieve you of the perils of a common cough be it due to the seasonal changes or simply because of your hay fever allergy. Often allergies cause nasty reaction like a cough that would simply not budge. Then there are ice cream eating competitions with friends that led to a congested chest and to treat it all we have the drug Guaifenesin. However, this is simply the generic name of this drug which is actually sold under the popular brand name Mucinex.

Guaifenesin Drug Benefits:

All this while you have heard about how the drug has helped you relieve your constant cough but here is the insight on how actually does it function or work which makes the drugs work its magic on the stubborn mucous build up. To start with, we have sputum which is simply a combination or collaboration of the saliva and the mucus that builds up in the congested system. when you cough up mucous you are actually coughing up the sputum that’s in your system and this is where the medication starts to work its wonders. Basically this drug is an expectorant in nature which is clinically a medicine that encourages the secretion of the sputum in the chest or the pipe thereby inducing cough. This medicine works by loosening up the mucous that dries and glues itself to your throat and chest. The mucinex dm is dextromethorphan in nature which is basically a drug that falls under the same category as morphine and would also act as a stimulant.

Even though this drug provides temporary relief from your persistent coughs by loosing up the mucous and allowing it to rid your body, this drug however, does not go to the source of the problem and cure it. the main aim of this drug is to simply provide relief for the days when coughing up dry mucous was giving you soreness and chest pains.

How to Use Guaifenesin:

This is both a prescription and over the counter drug so if you are using this drug on your own, please consult the details with your pharmacist or simply read the patient’s information form carefully. All the notable information is usually listed in there. Based on your medical requirement and the intensity of the cough, your doctor will prescribe to you the dosage unit required for your treatment along with subsidiary information. Before the dosage is prescribed, a thorough background check is done as evaluations regarding, the age, weight and the lifestyle which determines the body’s compatibility is taken into account.

You can avail this medicine in a tabular form or in the form of oral suspension. The guaifenesin syrup once prescribed should be measured carefully using a professional spoon or a beaker so that the dosage is aptly measured. Shake the bottle well before pouring out the dosage and unlike the tabular form, prevent too much liquid consumption right after so that the medicine can do its work.

Usually it is advised that you intake a lot of fluids throughout the course of this medication which would allow your mucous to thin and liquefy better but alcohol as a liquid choice is not counted. If you are using guaifenesin tablets, make sure you swallow the tablet as a whole using a glass of water of apple juice instead of breaking, chewing or biting down on the medicine. When we splice a full medicine into half, the inactive ingredients, i.e. the raw form of the drug spills and accumulates all together which in turn increases overdosing effects.

The medicine can be taken with food or without food but at no point should a 24hr day see more than 2400mg consumption of this medication.


Once again we look forward to the doctor who would prescribe to us the basic needed dose for this medication. Usually your doctor prescribes the medicine after some considerations like your age, weight, medical attention required and of course some test results if there is any. Your dosage unit, the consumption form and style and the time interval in between each dose should also be briefed by him. If you are opting for over the counter medicines, simply use the patient’s leaflet for information or consult your pharmacist.

The doctors usually advise you to consume more liquids at around this time to aid in the loosening of the mucous congestion. Since this is a medical drug used for both the children and the adults, the dosage varies with age. The lesser the age the smaller the dosage is the rule. Also, it is advised that you start with the lowest effective dose so that your body is compatible with the medication and then on requirement, you can move to a higher dosage level.

This medicine is not appropriate for children under 12 years. The starting, the lowest effective dose for this medication is guaifenesin 400mg but the basic dosage for an adult on a daily basis can be mucinex 600mg. the dose on instability or ineffectiveness can be increased to guaifenesin 1200mg but the stronger doses require a break down or segmentation. So instead of consuming a higher dose all at once, break it down into smaller segments, say twice or thrice a day.

At no point should a dose exceed the 2400mg limit.


  • Guaifenesin uses the mucous thinning procedure to loosen up the mucous and even though this may sound like an easy enough procedure, often kids below the age of 12 years are advised against usage of this medication. Also, the dosage for the children needs to be measured carefully, like in case of guiaphenesin syrup.
  • This is a strong drug and it definitely passes on to your system. now for a pregnant woman carrying the child inside her, this drug in the system may or may not cause harm to the unborn child. At times this drug passes onto the breast milk and therefore indirectly to the newborn child post birth which may cause subsidiary trouble. This is why it is always best if you consult your doctor regarding the usage.
  • Usually cough medicines induce the feeling of drowsiness in you which is why you would not want to continue with activities such as driving whilst feeling dizzy or drowsy. The same goes for work hazards like having to work under the influence of heavy machinery. Keep the dosage time well spaced so that the side effects don’t hinder with your work time.
  • There are other classified medical categories that are used as blood thinners so while this medication is using its best benefit to thin out the mucous make sure the blood thinner medicines are not goofing up behind the back.

Interaction with other medications:

Drug interactions usually mean the drug presently being introduced to your system may or may not react with the other drugs already present in the system. At times these interactions can be due to the fact that two particular drugs don’t gel well and then there are times when these drugs gels too well and creates a new concoction. To start with, fully furnish your medical history details to your doctor so that he knows what medication to prescribe to you. also mention there a list of all the off the prescription medications you have taken.

Usually allergy medicines react a lot with any kind of powerful medication drug and therefore if you are currently going through a course of allergy medications, keep consulting your doctor regarding the usage.
Also, herbal products or antibiotics do not gel well with the medication and therefore one much simply not resort to herbal remedies whilst on the course of this drug.

Powerful painkillers too are a no at this point. If you have a past history of alcohol abuse or drug abuse, prevent the intake of these at least whilst on the course of this drug.

Side Effects:

Side effects pertain to each and every drug and honestly avoiding this may not be an easy ploy. Often these side effects may not even be noticeable but in case of emergency situations, here is a list to the common side effects that may show up.

  • Diarrhea: diarrhea due to the introduction of this new drug may be an issue but for most parts this is treated as an initial symptom that goes away.
  • Fever and cold chills: common fever may occur with slight chills running down your spine where you can even experience a slight stiffness in your muscles. These are common and should not be fret about.
  • Dizziness: dizziness in the form of light headedness persists as times when you stand up suddenly from a seated position and therefore is definitely not something that should be avoided.
  • Stomach pain: stomach pain following the diarrhea may occur which too is treated as an initial symptom. At worst cases, consult the doctor immediately.
  • Skin Irritation: guaifenesin side effects also include skin irritations such as rashes or hives like formations which may itch and turn red or swell at worst cases. Immediate action for this would be ice application.

Common cough is something that today’s world simply doesn’t consider a concern. We sure have our days laying in bed coughing till we turn red but as long as it’s not self inflicted like a smoking debacle or a serious disorder say bronchial asthma, we are on the clear with this medication.

To be honest, these common colds and coughs mainly occur due to chest congestion where the mucous builds up a bit too much and the persistent cough therefore can only be relieved by thinning the mucous so that it can flow out of the system. the mucinex drug indeed never takes part in curing the exact problem but it can provide permanent relief through temporary treatment where on the occurrence of yet another chest congestion you can seek out help from this drug once again.