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All about: Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops

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Generic Name: Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops (DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan/FEN-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Albatussin Pediatric Drops and Little Colds Decongestant/Cough

Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops is used for:

Relieving congestion and cough due to colds, flu, or hay fever. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops is a decongestant and cough suppressant combination. It works by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling in the nasal passages, which helps you to breathe more easily. The cough suppressant works in the brain to help decrease the cough reflex.

Do NOT use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops
  • you have severe high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, or other severe heart problems (eg, heart blood vessel disease)
  • you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops:

Some medical conditions may interact with Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of glaucoma, an enlarged prostate gland or other prostate problems, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood vessel problems, adrenal gland problems, an overactive thyroid, seizures, or stroke
  • if you have a history of chronic cough, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung problems (eg, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), or if your cough produces large amounts of mucus

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, tolcapone), furazolidone, indomethacin, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops's side effects
  • Digoxin or droxidopa because the risk of irregular heartbeat or heart attack may be increased
  • Bromocriptine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops
  • Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because their effectiveness may be decreased by Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops:

Use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops by mouth with or without food.
  • Use the dropper that comes with Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops to measure your dose. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops.

Important safety information:

  • Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not take appetite suppressants while you are taking Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops without checking with your doctor.
  • Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops has dextromethorphan and phenylephrine in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has dextromethorphan or phenylephrine in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 5 to 7 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops while you are pregnant. It is not known if Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; tremor.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops:

Store Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Dextromethorphan/Phenylephrine Drops. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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