Medically reviewed by Darren Hein, PharmD — written by college of Illinois — to update on September 2, 2018


Mucinex and Nyquil Cold & Flu are two common, over-the-counter remedies you can find on your pharmacist’s shelf. Compare the symptoms that each drug treats and also their next effects, interactions, and warnings to see if one is a better option for you.

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The key differences in between these drugs are their active ingredients and also how those work to treat her symptoms.

Mucinex treats chest congestion. The main energetic ingredient is one expectorant called guaifenesin. It works by thinning the consistency of mucus in her air passages. This i got loose up rubber in her chest therefore you can cough that up and out.

NyQuil in the interim treats typical cold and flu symptom such together fever, cough, sleep congestion, boy aches and pains, headache, and runny nose and sneezing. The active ingredients room acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. This ingredients each work-related a tiny differently.

For example, acetaminophen is a pains reliever and also fever reducer. It transforms the way your human body senses pain and also regulates temperature. Dextromethorphan suppresses the signals in your brain that cause your coughing reflex. Doxylamine, ~ above the other hand, blocks a substance in her body referred to as histamine. This substance reasons allergy symptom such together itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and itchy nose or throat. Together, this ingredients carry out the relief friend can acquire from NyQuil.

The following table summarizes the differences between Mucinex and also NyQuil in ~ a glance.

Active ingredient(s)guaifenesinacetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine
Symptom(s) treatedchest congestionfever, cough, nasal congestion, boy aches and pains, headache, sick throat, runny nose, sneezing
Usagethroughout the dayat night
Formsextended-release dental tablet*, dental granulesoral fluid capsule, oral solution
Risk the interactionsnoyes
Risk of significant side effectsnoyes

*There is additionally an extra-strength form of this tablet, which consists of twice as much of the active ingredient.

Forms and also dosage

You deserve to use Mucinex transparent the day, yet you commonly use NyQuil in ~ night to assist you sleep and let her body recover. The ingredient doxylamine in NyQuil additionally causes drowsiness to help you acquire rest.

Mucinex and NyQuil Cold & Flu are just for civilization 12 years and older. However, NyQuil has actually other commodities that are especially made for children ages 4 come 11 years.

The recommended dosage for each drug varies follow to the form. Follow the encourage dosage on the package of whatever form you choose. Girlfriend will must ask your medical professional for the correct dosage of NyQuil to provide to kids who are 4 come 11 year old.

Mucinex does not have the danger of severe side effects. However, the following serious side impacts may be feasible with NyQuil:

vision problems, such as blurry visiondifficulty urinatingallergic reaction, with symptoms together as:red, peeling or blistering skinrashhivesitchingswelling the the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, or lower legsdifficulty breath or swallowing

If you have actually serious next effects, you should stop utilizing the drug and call your doctor.


Drug interactions deserve to increase or diminish the result of the various other medications. Interaction can additionally increase your danger of next effects. There are no known far-ranging interactions v guaifenesin, the active ingredient in Mucinex. However, all three active ingredients of NyQuil communicate with various other drugs.

Acetaminophen can interact with:

warfarinisoniazidcarbamazepine (Tegretol)phenobarbitalphenytoin (Dilantin)phenothiazines

Dextromethorphan can connect with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine (Nardil)selegilinetranylcypromine (Parnate)

Doxylamine can interact with:

isocarboxazidphenelzine selegilinetranylcyprominelinezolidopioids such together fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and also morphine

You shouldn’t use Mucinex or NyQuil to treat a long-term cough. Using too lot can cause harmful effects. You additionally shouldn’t use these commodities to treat symptom of any kind of medical problem you have without talk to your doctor first.

Other conditions

Other problems you may have can impact how NyQuil functions for you. In part conditions, this drug have the right to be harmful. Questioning a doctor prior to using NyQuil if you have:

liver diseaseglaucomaurinating because of enlarged prostate gland


Don’t usage Mucinex or NyQuil for much longer than 7 days. If her symptoms no relieved after ~ a week, contact your doctor and stop making use of these drugs.

NyQuil contains acetaminophen, which deserve to cause far-reaching liver damages if friend overuse it. Taking an ext than four doses that NyQuil in 24 hrs can reason severe liver damage. Countless over-the-counter drugs also contain acetaminophen. If you take NyQuil, make sure you don’t take it with various other drugs that contain acetaminophen. This will help make certain you nothing accidentally use too much of the drug.

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Mucinex and NyQuil are both commodities that relax symptoms that the common cold or flu. The symptom they treat room different. You have the right to take Mucinex and also NyQuil together safely if you monitor the encourage dosage for each drug. However, taking Mucinex in ~ night v NyQuil can actually save you native falling asleep. Mucinex will loosen her mucus, which can reason you to wake up to cough.

Deciding between the two might simply mean picking the drug that treats the symptoms that space bothering girlfriend the most. Of course, you must never take any kind of drug if you’re not sure just how to usage it or if it’s best for you. Constantly talk to your doctor if you have actually questions.