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dextromethorphan and guaifenesin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dextromethorphan and guaifenesin?

Do not use a cough or cold medicine 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 cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medication if you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dextromethorphan and guaifenesin is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.

How should I take dextromethorphan and guaifenesin?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

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.

Measure the liquid form of this medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Dextromethorphan and guaifenesin granules should be sprinkled directly onto the tongue and swallowed right away.

Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cold medicine within the past few days.

Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.

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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