Common Brand Name(s): Benylin DM-D-E , Robitussin CF
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This combination medication is used to temporarily treat cough, chest congestion, and stuffy nose symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps to thin and loosen mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that affects a certain part of the brain (cough center), reducing the urge to cough. This product also contains a decongestant, which helps relieve stuffy nose symptoms.
This medication is usually not used for ongoing coughs from smoking, asthma, other long-term breathing problems (e.g., emphysema), or coughs with a lot of mucus, unless directed by your doctor.
Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.
These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).
How To Use
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed.
Take the tablet, capsule, or liquid form by mouth with or without food. Follow the directions for dosing on the label, or take as directed by your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids when you use this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The fluid will help loosen the mucus in your lungs. This medication can be taken with food if stomach upset occurs.
If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.
If you are using sustained-release tablets or capsules, swallow the medication whole. Do not crush or chew the tablets or capsules. Doing so can destroy the long action of the drug and may increase side effects.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy.
Improper use of this medication (abuse) may result in serious harm (e.g., brain damage, seizure, death). Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than recommended by your doctor or the package instructions without your doctor's approval.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists for more than 1 week, if it worsens, or if it occurs with fever, rash, or persistent headache. These may be symptoms of a serious medical problem and should be checked by a doctor.
Dizziness, headache, nausea, nervousness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has prescribed this drug, remember that your doctor has prescribed it because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations)
- shaking (tremors)
Tell your doctor if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
- fast/slow/irregular heartbeat
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema)
- a certain eye problem (glaucoma)
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- kidney problems
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- trouble urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate)
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Liquid preparations of this product may contain sugar, aspartame, and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, difficulty urinating, fast/irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, confusion, or mental/mood changes.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only if clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If you are taking this medication under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Taking certain MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking isocarboxazid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, or tranylcypromine during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially:
- beta blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol)
- certain inhaled anesthetics (e.g., halothane)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine)
Guaifenesin is available in both prescription and nonprescription products. Check the labels on all your medications carefully to make sure you are not taking more than one guaifenesin-containing product.
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including urine 5-HIAA/VMA levels, brain scan for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: agitation, confusion, hallucinations, seizures.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, do not share it with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
If you are prescribed this medication on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised February 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.