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guaifenesin (glyceryl guaiacolate)
Balminil Expectorant (CA), Benilyn Childrens Chesty Coughs (UK), Benylin-E (CA), Calmylin Expectorant (CA), Diabetic Tussin EX, Genatuss, Koffex Expectorant (CA), Mucinex, Organidin NR, Phanacin XPECT, Pneumomist, Resyl (CA), Robitussin, Robitussin Chesty Cough (UK), Scot-tussin Expectorant, Siltussin SA, Tixylix Chesty Cough (UK), Venos for Kids (UK), Vicks Vaposyrup for Chesty Coughs (UK)
Pharmacologic class: Propanediol derivative
Therapeutic class: Expectorant
Pregnancy risk category C
Exerts vasoconstrictive action that leads to decreased edema and congestion. Also increases respiratory secretions and reduces mucus viscosity.
Capsules: 200 mg
Oral solution: 100 mg/5 ml, 200 mg/5 ml
Syrup: 100 mg/5 ml
Tablets: 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg
Tablets (extended-release): 600 mg
⊘Indications and dosages
➣ Cough due to upper respiratory tract infection
Adults: 200 to 400 mg P.O. q 4 hours (not to exceed 2,400 mg/day), or 600 to 1,200 mg P.O. (extended-release tablets) q 12 hours (not to exceed 2,400 mg/day)
Children ages 6 to 12: 100 to 200 mg P.O. q 4 hours (not to exceed 1,200 mg/day), or 600 mg P.O. (extended-release) q 12 hours (not to exceed 1,200 mg/day)
Children ages 2 to 6: 50 to 100 mg P.O. q 4 hours (not to exceed 600 mg/day)
• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Alcohol intolerance (with some products)
Use cautiously in:
• diabetes mellitus, cough lasting more than 1 week or accompanied by fever, rash, or headache
• patients receiving disulfiram concurrently
• pregnant patients.
• Give with full glass of water.
CNS: headache, dizziness
GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
Skin: rash, urticaria
Drug-diagnostic tests.Urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, vanillylmandelic acid: inaccurate results
• Assess cough quality and productivity. Reevaluate treatment if cough persists and is accompanied by fever or headache.
• Tell patient to take with 8 oz of water and to drink plenty of fluids.
• Instruct patient to contact prescriber if cough lasts more than 1 week.
• Caution patient to avoid driving and other hazardous activities until he knows how drug affects concentration and alertness.
• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the tests mentioned above.
Alfen Jr(trade name),
Balminil Expectorant(trade name),
Benylin Chest Congestion Extra Strength(trade name),
Bronchophan Expectorant(trade name),
Chest Congestion(trade name),
Cough Syrup Expectorant(trade name),
Diabetic Tussin(trade name),
Expectorant Syrup(trade name),
Ganidin NR(trade name),
Jack & Jill Expectorant(trade name),
Naldecon Senior EX(trade name),
Organidin NR(trade name),
Scot-tussin Expectorant(trade name),
Siltussin SA(trade name),
Siltussin DAS(trade name),
Vicks Chest Congestion Relief(trade name),
Vicks Dayquil Mucus Control(trade name)
ClassificationTherapeutic: allergy cold cough remedies
Time/action profile (expectorant action)
|PO||30 min||unknown||4–6 hr|
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
- stomach pain
Drug-Drug interactionNone significant.
Availability (generic available)
- Assess lung sounds, frequency and type of cough, and character of bronchial secretions periodically during therapy. Maintain fluid intake of 1500–2000 mL/day to decrease viscosity of secretions.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesIneffective airway clearance (Indications)
- Do not confuse guaifenesin with guanfacine. Do not confuse Mucinex with Mucomyst.
- Oral: Administer each dose of guaifenesin followed by a full glass of water to decrease viscosity of secretions.
- Extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole; do not open, break, crush, or chew.
- Instruct patient to cough effectively. Patient should sit upright and take several deep breaths before attempting to cough.
- Caution parents to avoid OTC cough and cold products while breast feeding or administering to children <4 yrs.
- Inform patient that drug may occasionally cause dizziness. Avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness until response to drug is known.
- Advise patient to limit talking, stop smoking, maintain moisture in environmental air, and take some sugarless gum or hard candy to help alleviate the discomfort caused by a chronic nonproductive cough.
- Instruct patient to contact health care professional if cough persists longer than 1 wk or is accompanied by fever, rash, or persistent headache or sore throat.
- Easier mobilization and expectoration of mucus from cough associated with upper respiratory infection.