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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Maxiflu CD, Maxiflu CDX

Generic Name: acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine (Pronunciation: a SEET oh MIN oh fen, KOE deen, gwye FEN e sin, SOO doe ee FED rin)

What is acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine (Maxiflu CD, Maxiflu CDX)?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.

Codeine is a narcotic cough suppressant.

Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen mucus congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

The combination of acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine is used to treat stuffy nose, cough, pain and fever, and to reduce chest congestion caused by upper respiratory infections or the common cold.

Acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine (Maxiflu CD, Maxiflu CDX)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, weak or shallow breathing;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure); or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, headache;
  • constipation;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset;
  • mild loss of appetite;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • increased sweating;
  • feeling excited or restless; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen, codeine, guaifenesin, and pseudoephedrine (Maxiflu CD, Maxiflu CDX)?

Do not take this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take a cough and cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can cause damage to your liver. The maximum amount of acetaminophen for adults is 1 gram (1000 mg) per dose and 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day, do not take this medication without your doctor's advice, and never take more than 2 grams (2000 mg) of acetaminophen per day.

Do not use any other cough, cold, or allergy medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as "APAP"), guaifenesin, or pseudoephedrine.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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