guaifenesin, Humibid, Humibid LA, Robitussin, Organidin NR, Fenesin, Mucinex

Pharmacy Author:
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.

PRESCRIPTION: No

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.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of guaifenesin are uncommon. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and rash may occur.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 1/4/2012




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