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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Poly-Tussin DHC

Generic Name: brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine (Pronunciation: BROM fen IR a meen, dye HYE dro KOE deen, FEN il EFF rin)

What is brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine (Poly-Tussin DHC)?

Brompheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Dihydrocodeine is a narcotic cough suppressant.

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

The combination of brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine is used to treat nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and cough caused by the common cold.

Dihydrocodeine will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.

Brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine (Poly-Tussin DHC)?

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 any of these serious side effects:

  • fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • painful or difficult urination.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, headache, tired feeling;
  • feeling excited or restless;
  • increased dreaming;
  • increased sweating or urination;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite;
  • dry mouth;
  • blurred vision, dry eyes; or
  • mild skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine (Poly-Tussin DHC)?

Do not use 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.

You should not use brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine if you are allergic to it, or if you have peptic ulcer, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease (reduced circulation of blood to the heart), narrow-angle glaucoma, if you are breast-feeding a baby, or if you are unable to urinate.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart disease or high blood pressure, asthma or other breathing disorder, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorder, a seizure disorder, head injury or brain tumor, an enlarged prostate, problems with urination, mental illness, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Always ask a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough or cold medicine in very young children. Brompheniramine, dihydrocodeine, and phenylephrine should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

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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