- What is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
- Is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
- What are the side effects of chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
- What is the dosage for chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
- Is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
What is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Tussionex is a combination of an antihistamine that blocks allergic reactions and reduces the production of mucus (chlorpheniramine), and a narcotic that relieves pain and cough (hydrocodone). Tussionex is a liquid that slowly releases the chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone after it is ingested.
What brand names are available for chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
Tussionex, TussiCaps, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vituz
What are the side effects of chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
The most frequent side effects of chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone include:
- disturbed coordination, and
- drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions.
Other important side effects include:
- dyspepsia (indigestion),
- spasm of the ureter (which can lead to difficulty urinating),
- increased heart rate,
- blurred vision,
- double vision, and
Hydrocodone can depress breathing, and should be used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients, and in patients with serious lung disease. Hydrocodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. Hydrocodone may be habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term relief of pain.
What is the dosage for chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
The usual dose is 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) to 5 ml (1 teaspoonful) twice daily. The suspension should be shaken prior to each use.
Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
Chlorpheniramine (although not generally sedating itself) and hydrocodone both add to the sedating effects of alcohol and other drugs that can cause sedation such as the benzodiazepine class of anti-anxiety drugs (for example, diazepam [Valium], lorazepam [Ativan], clonazepam [Klonopin], alprazolam [Xanax]); the narcotic class of pain medications and its derivatives (for example, oxycodone and acetaminophen [Percocet], hydrocodone/acetaminophen [Vicodin], Dilaudid, codeine, propoxyphene [Darvon]); the tricyclic class of antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], imipramine [Tofranil], desipramine [Norpramin]); the antipsychotic class of drugs (for example, thioridazine (Mellaril), triflupromazine (Stelazine)]; and certain antihypertensive medications (for example, clonidine [Catapres], propranolol [Inderal]).
Chlorpheniramine also can intensify the drying effects (due to decreased production of mucus) of other medications with anticholinergic properties (for example, dicyclomine [Bentyl], bethanechol [Urecholine], Probanthine).
Is chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Antihistamines are typically not recommended for use in pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, because of a risk of seizures in the fetus. The risk for depressed breathing in the newborn infant when the mother ingests hydrocodone is greatest in premature infants who are particularly sensitive to the effects of hydrocodone. Physicians may decide to prescribe chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother are deemed to outweigh the risks to the fetus and newborn.
Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone both are secreted in breast milk. Owing to the risk in infants of antihistamines causing hyperexcitability and even seizures, particularly in newborns and premature infants, the combination of chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone is not recommended for use in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone?
What preparations of chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone are available?
Liquid suspension. Each teaspoonful (5 ml) contains chlorpheniramine, 8 mg and hydrocodone, 10 mg.
How should I keep chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone stored?
The suspension should be stored at room temperature, between 15-30 C (59-86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone (Tussionex) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of cough and congestion associated with allergies, colds, and other lung infections. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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How to Stop Coughing
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including:
- Irritants like
- cigarette and secondhand smoke
- air fresheners
- Medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors
- Medical conditions like
- the common cold
- lung cancer
- heart disease
Natural and home remedies that help cure and soothe a cough are:
Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough are:
- Stay hydrated
- Gargle saltwater
- Use cough drops or lozenges
- Use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm
- Don't smoke
Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include
- cough suppressants and expectorants, and
- anti-reflux drugs.
Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include
- narcotic medications,
- inhaled steroids, and
- anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example,
- omeprazole (Prilosec),
- rabeprazole (Aciphex), and
- pantoprazole (Protonix).
- Irritants like
Hydrocodone vs Hydromorphone for Pain
Hydrocodone (brand name Zohydro ER) and hydromorphone (brand names Dilaudid and others) are opioid narcotics prescribed to patients with moderate to severe pain for which other pain therapies have not provided adequate pain management. Both narcotics have a Black Box Warning from the FDA about serious side effects including coma and death.
Common side effects of both hydrocodone and hydromorphone include:
Side effects unique to hydrocodone include:
- Spasm of the ureter
Side effects unique to hydromorphone include:
- Dry mouth
Both narcotics can be habit forming and addictive. Examples of symptoms that you may be addicted to hydrocodone or hydromorphone include:
- You are taken the drug in larger doses than your doctor prescribed.
- You have a persistent desire, and often have unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control the use of the drug.
- You have a strong desire or craving for the drug.
- You spend a lot of time doing various things to get or use the drugs.
- You have problems at work, school, or relationships.
- You withdraw from social activities because of the drug.
FDA Prescribing Information.
NIH; National Institute on Drug Abuse. "The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction: The Basics." Updated: Oct 2016.
Oxycodone vs Tramadol for Pain
Oxycodone and tramadol are prescription medications used to manage acute and chronic moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is an opiate (narcotic) derived drug whereas tramadol is a man-made synthetic drug. Tramadol is not a narcotic, and it is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). Some of the side effects of oxycodone and tramadol are the same, for example:
- Dry mouth
Serious side effects for oxycodone and tramadol differ. Oxycodone and tramadol are habit forming drugs and patients may become addicted. Withdrawal symptoms include:
Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information differs for these drugs and should be reviewed prior to administration.
Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone
Oxycodone and hydrocodone are prescription opioid pain medications. Both drugs have similar uses and side effects, for example:
Both drugs also are available in combination with other drugs. Examples of brand names include:
- Zohydro ER
Drug interactions, dosage, uses, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Percocet vs Lortab for Pain
Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) and Lortab (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) are combined prescription medications used to treat moderate to severe pain. Common side effects of Percocet and Lortab include:
Both Percocet and Lortab contain acetaminophen, and the most serious side effect of acetaminophen is liver damage due to to taking large doses of acetaminophen, chronic use, or when combined with alcohol. Both Percocet and Lortab have an increased risk for addiction because they both contain a powerful narcotic drug. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if these drugs are discontinued abruptly.
Other brand names for oxycodone and acetaminophen are
Other brand names for hydrocodone and acetaminophen are
- Vicodin ES
- Vicodin HP
- Lorcet Plus
Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding comparisons are reviewed.