Medically reviewed by Darren Hein, PharmD — written by college of Illinois — update on September 2, 2018


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

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The key differences between these drugs are their energetic ingredients and also how those occupational to treat her 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 i m going up rubber in your chest so you can cough that up and out.

NyQuil temporarily treats typical cold and flu symptom such as fever, cough, nasal congestion, boy aches and pains, headache, and runny nose and sneezing. The active ingredients are acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. These ingredients each work-related a small differently.

For example, paracetamol is a pains reliever and fever reducer. It alters the means your human body senses pain and also regulates temperature. Dextromethorphan suppresses the signal in your mind that create your coughing reflex. Doxylamine, top top the various other hand, blocks a substance in your body called histamine. This substance reasons allergy symptom such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and itchy nose or throat. Together, these ingredients carry out the relief friend can acquire from NyQuil.

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

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

*There is also an extra-strength type of this tablet, which contains twice as much of the energetic ingredient.

Forms and also dosage

You deserve to use Mucinex transparent the day, but you frequently use NyQuil in ~ night to assist you sleep and also let her body recover. The ingredient doxylamine in NyQuil additionally causes drowsiness to help you get rest.

Mucinex and also NyQuil Cold & Flu are just for world 12 years and older. However, NyQuil has actually other products that are especially made for kids ages 4 come 11 years.

The encourage dosage because that each drug varies follow to the form. Monitor the recommended dosage on the package of whatever kind you choose. Girlfriend will need to ask your medical professional for the correct dosage of NyQuil to offer to youngsters who space 4 to 11 year old.

Mucinex walk not have the threat of severe side effects. However, the following serious side effects may be possible with NyQuil:

vision problems, such together blurry visiondifficulty urinatingallergic reaction, through symptoms such as:red, peeling or blistering skinrashhivesitchingswelling the the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, or reduced legsdifficulty breathing or swallowing

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


Drug interactions have the right to increase or to decrease the effect of the other medications. Interactions can also increase your risk of side effects. There room no known far-ranging interactions through guaifenesin, the energetic ingredient in Mucinex. However, all three energetic ingredients of NyQuil communicate with various other drugs.

Acetaminophen can interact with:

warfarinisoniazidcarbamazepine (Tegretol)phenobarbitalphenytoin (Dilantin)phenothiazines

Dextromethorphan can interact with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine (Nardil)selegilinetranylcypromine (Parnate)

Doxylamine can interact with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine selegilinetranylcyprominelinezolidopioids such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and morphine

You shouldn’t use Mucinex or NyQuil come treat a long-term cough. Making use of too much can cause harmful effects. You also shouldn’t usage these products to treat symptom of any medical problem you have without talk to your physician first.

Other conditions

Other conditions you may have can affect how NyQuil functions 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 use Mucinex or NyQuil for longer than seven days. If her symptoms aren’t relieved ~ a week, call your doctor and stop making use of these drugs.

NyQuil includes acetaminophen, which have the right to cause far-reaching liver damage if friend overuse it. Taking much more than 4 doses the NyQuil in 24 hrs can cause severe liver damage. Numerous over-the-counter drugs additionally contain acetaminophen. If you take NyQuil, make certain you don’t take it with other drugs the contain acetaminophen. This will aid make sure you nothing accidentally usage too lot of the drug.

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Mucinex and also NyQuil space both products that relax symptoms that the common cold or flu. The symptoms they treat space different. You deserve to take Mucinex and also NyQuil together safely if you monitor the encourage dosage for each drug. However, acquisition Mucinex at night with NyQuil can actually store you from falling asleep. Mucinex will certainly loosen her mucus, which can reason you to wake approximately cough.

Deciding in between the two may simply mean selecting the medicine that treats the symptoms that space bothering you the most. That course, you have to never take any kind of drug if you’re no sure exactly how to usage it or if it’s right for you. Constantly talk to your doctor if you have questions.