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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
Another commonly used name is glyceryl guaiacolate .
Guaifenesin (gwye-FEN-e-sin) is used to help coughs caused by colds or similar illnesses clear mucus or phlegm (pronounced flem) from the chest. It works by thinning the mucus or phlegm in the lungs.
Some guaifenesin preparations are available only with your doctor"s prescription. Others are available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper dose of guaifenesin for your medical condition. Guaifenesin is available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
If you are taking this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For guaifenesin, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to guaifenesin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Several groups of women taking guaifenesin during pregnancy have been studied. In one group, when guaifenesin was taken during the first 3 months of pregnancy, the babies had more inguinal hernias than expected. However, more birth defects than expected did not occur in the babies of other groups of women taking guaifenesin during pregnancy. Studies have not been done in animals.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether guaifenesin passes into breast milk. However, guaifenesin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children—Although there is no specific information comparing use of guaifenesin in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults. However, check with your doctor before using this medicine in children who have a chronic cough, such as occurs with asthma, or who have an unusually large amount of mucus or phlegm with the cough. Children with these conditions may need a different kind of medicine. Also, guaifenesin should not be given to children younger than 2 years of age unless you are directed to do so by your doctor.
Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of guaifenesin in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Drinking plenty of water while taking guaifenesin may help loosen mucus or phlegm in the lungs.
For patients taking the extended-release capsule form of this medicine:
For patients taking the extended-release tablet form of this medicine:
Dosing—The dose of guaifenesin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of guaifenesin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you must take this medicine regularly and you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If your cough has not improved after 7 days or if you have a fever, skin rash, continuing headache, or sore throat with the cough, check with your doctor. These signs may mean that you have other medical problems.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine.
However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Less common or rareDiarrhea; dizziness; headache; hives; nausea or vomiting; skin rash; stomach pain
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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