Hydrocodone, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine

Drug Class: Hydrocodone, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine > Hydrocodone > Semi Synthetic Opioid > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.


Doctors suggest using hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine products to relieve symptoms associate with the common cold and upper respiratory infections caused by viruses and bacteria. While this medication will not cure the ailment, it will control symptoms such as cough and congestion in your lungs and throat. Use this hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine product, known as a polydrug, to control coughing at night so you can sleep or reduce annoying symptoms during the day so you can attend class or go to work. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Uses


Hydrocodone, guaifenesin, pseudoephedrine are available in a single preparation, known as a polydrug. It is available under the brand names Drituss HD, Dynex HD, Entex HC, Hydro-Tuss XP, Hydrotussin HD, Nalex Expectorant, Poly-Tussin XP, Pseudatex HC, Su-Tuss HD Elixir, Tussgen Expectorant and Vanacon.

This polydrug is sold in two strengths, each with specific dosing instructions. Adults and children aged 12 and older may take 5 ml of a preparation containing 200 mg of guaifensesin, 6 mg of hydrocodone and 45 mg of pseudoephedrine every four to six hours, not exceeding 25 ml in a 24-hour period. Children between the ages of six and eleven may take 2.5 ml of this preparation every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 12.5 ml daily.

A second strength prescribed to adults and older children calls for 5 ml to 10 ml of a preparation containing 5 ml of a preparation containing 50 mg of guaifensesin, 3.75 mg of hydrocodone and 22.5 mg of pseudoephedrine every four to six hours, not exceeding 40 ml in a 24-hour period. Children ages 2 to 6 years may take 2.5 ml orally every four to six hours, no more than 10 ml in a day. Kids aged 6 to 11 may take 5 ml by mouth every 4 to 6 hours with a maximum of 20 ml each day.

Researchers have not established the efficacy of cough medicines in children under the age of 2 years but there is a great risk for dosing errors and deaths from overdose in very young patients. Always consult a pediatrician before giving any medication to a child.

Drink extra fluids to loosen secretions to make them easier to cough out.

Take this medication with or without food. Take hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine with food if it causes stomach upset.

Your healthcare provider may have recommended you take hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine on a schedule to provide round-the-clock coverage for your symptoms. If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time to take another dose and you can tolerate the symptoms, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Contact the prescribing physician if your prescription does not adequately relieve your symptoms or if it stops working for you.

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Hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs contain a cough suppressant, expectorant and decongestant that act together to provide complete coverage of your symptoms. Hydrocodone is a cough suppressant that works directly on your medulla, the part of your brain responsible for the cough reflex. Hydrocodone makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. Guaifenesin is an expectorant that thins mucus and secretions, making it easier to cough congestion from the lungs or clear sinus congestion by blowing your nose. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant; it works by shrinking the blood vessels inside the lining of your nasal passage to allow more room for airflow. More About How Hydrocodone, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Works


Do not take hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine if you are allergic to any component or inactive ingredient in this medication. Do not take this drug if you are allergic to other narcotics, such as morphine or oxycodone. Call an ambulance, go to the hospital or contact a doctor at first sign of an allergic reaction. A person's condition can decline swiftly and without warning after exposure to a drug allergen. Common symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include hives, especially over the face and neck, nasal congestion, itching, rashes and watery, red eyes.

Anaphylaxis is a very serious, potentially deadly form of an allergic reaction that usually occurs within minutes of exposure to the drug. Without medical help, a person can die from anaphylaxis within 15 minutes of contact.

Symptoms of a moderate or severe reaction include:

  • Abdominal Cramps or Pain.
  • Chest Discomfort or Tightness.
  • Difficulty Breathing or Wheezing.
  • Difficulty Swallowing.
  • Feeling Dizzy.
  • Feeling Light-Headed.
  • Fear or Feeling of Apprehension or Anxiety.
  • Flushing or Redness of the Face.
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea.
  • Palpitations.
  • Swelling of the Face, Eyes or Tongue.
  • Weakness.
  • Unconsciousness.

It is important that the prescribing physician is aware of your medical history before you take any medication. Hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine may worsen some conditions or interfere with treatment drugs. Alternately, some ailments may change the way hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs work in your body. The prescribing physician may change your dosage or suggest a different medication if you currently suffer or have ever experienced certain medical conditions, including:

  • Asthma.
  • COPD.
  • Sleep Apnea.
  • Heart Disease.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Thyroid Disorder.
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • Seizure Disorder.
  • Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Urination Problems.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine can make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate large machinery until you know how hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine affect you. Alcohol and some medications can enhance this effect, especially other cough and cold preparations, sedatives, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and sleep aides.

The hydrocodone in hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs can be habit-forming. A drug habit means to take medications even though you do not need them to resolve a medical problem. A drug habit is not necessarily willful abuse but it can lead to mental or physical dependence.

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Do not take hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this preparation. Researchers are still working to establish whether taking this medication during pregnancy can harm an unborn child but medical experts do recognize hydrocodone passes into a mother's breast milk and onto a nursing infant. Do not breast feed a baby while taking this medication.

Sudden cessation may cause powerful withdrawal symptoms. Do not stop taking this medication abruptly unless directed to do so by a physician. When the time to quit hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs draws near, slowly decrease the size of doses and begin taking doses further apart to slowly wean yourself from this powerful opioid.

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Drug Interactions

Drugs can interact with each other in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacy filling the prescription a list of all your medications. Be sure to include all prescriptions, vitamins, herbal remedies and over-the-counter preparations. Do not stop, start or change the way you take any medication without first consulting a physician or druggist.

Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills or other stimulants, such as ADHD medication, while using hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. Taking a stimulant alongside a decongestant may cause unpleasant side effects.

Do not take hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. Taking this drug while MAO inhibitors are still in your system may result in dangerous drug reactions, even death. Generic names for MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline,selegiline or tranylcypromine. Brand name MAO inhibitors include Marplan, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, Emsam and Parnate.

Tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • An Antidepressant.
  • Beta-Blockers.
  • High Blood Pressure Medication.
  • Methyldopa.

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Side effects

Some patients report side effects associated with hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs. While side effects may be common when taking some medications, most are not serious while some can be life-threatening.

Contact the prescribing physician if you experience common side effects include:

  • Dizziness or Headache.
  • Feeling Excited or Restless.
  • Insomnia.
  • Mild Loss of Appetite.
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Stomach Upset.
  • Skin Rash or Itching.
  • Warmth, Tingling or Redness under the Skin.

Some side effects can be serious or even life-threatening. Stop taking hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine and contact your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects such as :

  • Easy Bruising or Bleeding.
  • Fast, Pounding or Uneven Heartbeat.
  • Fever, Chills, Body Aches, Flu Symptoms.
  • Increased Blood Pressure.
  • Severe Dizziness, Anxiety, Restless Feeling or Nervousness.
  • Unusual Weakness.

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Deaths from drug overdose have tripled since 1991. Most of these overdoses are the result of taking too much prescription medicine, rather than overdosing on illegal drugs. In fact, more people die from overdoses of prescription pain killers than from cocaine and heroin combined. If you think you or someone you know has taken a drug overdose, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling Restless or Nervous.
  • Nausea or Vomiting

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Drug abuse has skyrocketed in recent decades. To abuse drugs means to take substances outside the bounds for which they were intended. A person abuses drugs when she takes them to get high, takes a greater dose than prescribed or continues to take a medication after a doctor has suggested she stop. Abusing drugs on a regular basis can lead to mental or physical dependence. Hydrocodone is the most widely-prescribed drug today and ranks high among the most widely abused drugs. Abusers obtain hydrocodone by doctor shopping, filing bogus prescriptions with pharmacies, by stealing it or purchasing them on the streets.

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Withdrawal is an acutely unpleasant consequence of taking high doses of opioids or taking them for a long time. When you are dependent on a drug, you need to continue taking that chemical to feel normal; if you stop, you experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is a normal, predictable outcome from taking opioids and not necessarily an indication of criminal drug abuse. You can feel withdrawal symptoms even if you have taken narcotics exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever, Runny Nose or Sneezing.
  • Goose Bumps and Abnormal Skin Sensations.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Pain.
  • Rapid Heartbeat.
  • Rigid Muscles.
  • Shivering.
  • Sweating.
  • Tremors.
  • Trouble Sleeping.


You may not be able to stop taking hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs without the help of qualified professionals. Successful rehabilitation from dependence on drugs involves several components of medical care, including withdrawal management, detoxification and counseling. During standard rehabilitation, doctors prescribe medicines to ease withdrawal symptoms, cleanse the body of drugs and restore the body's chemical balance before the patient attends counseling sessions to address any issues that may have contributed to or were the result of drug abuse. Rapid detox is a more advance and humane form of detoxification. During rapid detox, specially-trained physicians administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs along with anesthesia and sedatives so that the patient sleeps through the overwhelmingly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The patient awakens with no recollection of withdrawal. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Detoxification Programs


Keep hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine at room temperature, away from excessive heat, light and moisture. Put this medication out of reach of children and pets. Do not allow adults to willfully or mistakenly take this drug. Hydrocodone is a favorite among recreational drug abusers because of the way this opioid gets them high. Do not give this drug to any other person, even if their symptoms are similar to your own. Dispose of hydrocodone, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations when you no longer need them. Ask your druggist about the best way to dispose of this medication.

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