guaifenesin, Humibid, Humibid LA, Robitussin, Organidin NR, Fenesin, Mucinex
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: guaifenesin
BRAND NAME: Mucinex
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Guaifenesin is an expectorant, that is, a medication that promotes elimination of mucus from the lungs. The expectorant effects of guaifenesin promote elimination of mucous by thinning the mucous and lubricating the irritated respiratory tract. Guaifenesin is an ingredient in many over-the-counter cough and cold products. Guaifenesin was first approved by the FDA in 1952.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablet (extended release): 600, and 1200 mg
STORAGE: Tablets, capsules, and syrup should be stored below 30 C (86 F). The liquid should not be refrigerated.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Guaifenesin is used for the treatment of cough associated with colds and minor upper respiratory tract infections in individuals 12 years and older.
DOSING: Guaifenesin may be taken with or without food. The tablets should be taken whole and should not be crushed, chewed, or broken. The recommended dose is 600-1200 every 12h hours up to a maximum of 2.4 g per day. Patients should consult a health care professional if symptoms last more than 7 days.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: There are no known drug interactions with guaifenesin.
PREGNANCY: Although one analysis found a correlation between guaifenesin use in the first trimester of pregnancy and an increased risk of hernia in the fetus, others found no increased risk of fetal malformations. Thus, guaifenesin should be used in pregnancy only if the physician feels that the potential benefits outweigh the potential and unknown risks.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if guaifenesin is secreted into breast milk.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 1/4/2012
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index