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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: J-Max DHC

Generic Name: dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (Pronunciation: dye HYE droe KOE deen gwye FEN e sin)

What is dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (J-Max DHC)?

Dihydrocodeine is a narcotic cough suppressant. It affects signals in the brain that trigger the cough reflex.

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

The combination of dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin is used to treat cough and to reduce chest congestion caused by allergies, flu, or the common cold.

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

Dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (J-Max 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 taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast or uneven heart rate;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • severe dizziness or drowsiness, feeling irritable;
  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • painful or difficult urination; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

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

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 dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (J-Max DHC)?

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.

Do not take this medication if you have taken furazolidone (Furoxone), sodium oxybate (GHB, Xyrem), or an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious or life-threatening side effects can occur if you take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin before these other medications have cleared from your body.

You also should not take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin if you have severe high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, stomach ulcer, blocked intestines, urination problems, narrow angle glaucoma, or if you are having an asthma attack or are allergic to other narcotic medications (Lortab, Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and others).

Do not take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin with alcohol, other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Dihydrocodeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Dihydrocodeine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

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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