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dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (J-Max DHC)?

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 should not use this medication if you are allergic to dihydrocodeine or guaifenesin, or if you have:

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
  • ischemic heart disease (reduced circulation of blood to the heart);
  • stomach ulcer;
  • a blockage in your intestines;
  • urination problems;
  • narrow angle glaucoma;
  • if you are having an asthma attack; or
  • if you are allergic to other narcotic medications such as codeine (Tylenol 3), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), meperidine (Demerol), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), oxycodone (OxyContin), and others.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin:

  • heart disease, high or low blood pressure;
  • circulation problems or a history of stroke;
  • asthma, COPD, emphysema, or other breathing disorders;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • a gallbladder or pancreas problem;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • glaucoma;
  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
  • a history of stomach problems such as ulcers, intestinal blockage, ulcerative colitis, or any surgeries; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction, or suicidal thoughts.

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

It is not known whether dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin 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.

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. Dihydrocodeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

How should I take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin (J-Max DHC)?

Take this medication exactly as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

You may take this medication with or without food.

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

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.

Take dihydrocodeine and guaifenesin with food if it upsets your stomach.

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.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with allergy skin tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking an antihistamine.

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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