Medically reviewed by Darren Hein, PharmD — created by college of Illinois — updated on September 2, 2018


Mucinex and Nyquil Cold & Flu room two common, over-the-counter remedies girlfriend can uncover on her pharmacist’s shelf. To compare the symptoms the each drug treats and also their side effects, interactions, and warnings to check out if one is a far better option because that you.

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The main differences in between these drugs room their active ingredients and also how those occupational to treat your symptoms.

Mucinex treats chest congestion. The main energetic ingredient is an expectorant called guaifenesin. It works by thinning the consistency of mucus in her air passages. This loosens up rubber in your chest therefore you can cough the up and also out.

NyQuil in the interim treats common cold and also flu symptom such together fever, cough, nasal congestion, young aches and pains, headache, and also runny nose and sneezing. The active ingredients room acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. This ingredients each work-related a tiny differently.

For example, acetaminophen is a ache reliever and also fever reducer. It transforms the method your body senses pain and regulates temperature. Dextromethorphan suppresses the signals in your mind that trigger your coughing reflex. Doxylamine, on the various other hand, block a problem in your body dubbed histamine. This substance reasons allergy symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and itchy nose or throat. Together, these ingredients provide the relief friend can acquire from NyQuil.

The following table summarizes the differences between Mucinex and also NyQuil at a glance.

Active ingredient(s)guaifenesinacetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine
Symptom(s) treatedchest congestionfever, cough, sleep congestion, minor aches and pains, headache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing
Usagethroughout the dayat night
Formsextended-release dental tablet*, oral granulesoral fluid capsule, dental solution
Risk that interactionsnoyes
Risk of major side effectsnoyes

*There is additionally an extra-strength form of this tablet, which contains twice as much of the active ingredient.

Forms and dosage

You can use Mucinex transparent the day, but you generally use NyQuil at night to assist you sleep and also let your body recover. The ingredient doxylamine in NyQuil also causes drowsiness to help you gain rest.

Mucinex and NyQuil Cold & Flu are only for people 12 years and older. However, NyQuil has other commodities that are specifically made for youngsters ages 4 to 11 years.

The recommended dosage for each medicine varies follow to the form. Follow the recommended dosage ~ above the package of whatever kind you choose. Friend will must ask your medical professional for the exactly dosage of NyQuil to offer to kids who room 4 come 11 years old.

Mucinex walk not have actually the threat of major side effects. However, the adhering to serious side effects may be possible with NyQuil:

vision problems, such together blurry visiondifficulty urinatingallergic reaction, v symptoms such as:red, skin or blistering skinrashhivesitchingswelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, or lower legsdifficulty breathing or swallowing

If you have actually serious side effects, you need to stop using the drug and call your doctor.


Drug interactions can increase or diminish the result of the other medications. Interactions can additionally increase your danger of next effects. There room no known far-reaching interactions with guaifenesin, the energetic ingredient in Mucinex. However, every three active ingredients of NyQuil interact with various other drugs.

Acetaminophen can connect with:

warfarinisoniazidcarbamazepine (Tegretol)phenobarbitalphenytoin (Dilantin)phenothiazines

Dextromethorphan can communicate with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine (Nardil)selegilinetranylcypromine (Parnate)

Doxylamine can communicate with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine selegilinetranylcyprominelinezolidopioids such together fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and also morphine

You shouldn’t use Mucinex or NyQuil to treat a irreversible cough. Using too much can cause harmful effects. You additionally shouldn’t usage these commodities to treat symptom of any medical condition you have actually without talk to your doctor first.

Other conditions

Other problems you may have actually can affect how NyQuil works for you. In part conditions, this drug can be harmful. Asking a doctor prior to using NyQuil if you have:

liver diseaseglaucomaurinating due to enlarged prostate gland


Don’t usage Mucinex or NyQuil for much longer than 7 days. If your symptoms no relieved after a week, call your doctor and stop making use of these drugs.

NyQuil consists of acetaminophen, which deserve to cause significant liver damages if girlfriend overuse it. Taking an ext than four doses that NyQuil in 24 hrs can cause severe liver damage. Countless over-the-counter drugs likewise contain acetaminophen. If you take NyQuil, make certain you don’t take it with other drugs the contain acetaminophen. This will help make certain you don’t accidentally usage too much of the drug.

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Mucinex and also NyQuil room both assets that relieve symptoms that the typical cold or flu. The symptoms they treat are different. You can take Mucinex and NyQuil with each other safely if you follow the recommended dosage for each drug. However, acquisition Mucinex in ~ night with NyQuil could actually keep you indigenous falling asleep. Mucinex will certainly loosen her mucus, i beg your pardon can reason you to wake approximately cough.

Deciding between the two may simply mean picking the medicine that treats the symptom that space bothering you the most. The course, you should never take any drug if you’re not sure how to usage it or if it’s ideal for you. Constantly talk come your doctor if you have actually questions.