Alcohol and Mucinex: Can You Mix Alcohol and Mucinex?
Mucinex is an over-the-counter medicine that’s commonly used by people to treat different symptoms, but before taking it, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and interactions. Even when a medicine is available over-the-counter, there may be the risk of side effects or interactions with other medicines, substances and even supplements.
So what about alcohol and Mucinex? Can you mix alcohol and Mucinex?
When you take Mucinex, it thins the mucus in your airways, which can eliminate congestion and make it easier to breathe.
The generic name of Mucinex is guaifenesin, which is classified as an expectorant. Along with the over-the-counter versions of Mucinex, there are also prescription versions. You can use Mucinex alone, or it is sometimes combined with other types of medicines such as antihistamines and decongestants.
It’s also available in different forms including as a syrup and as capsules, among others. Specific brands of Mucinex include Mucinex DM, Maximum Strength Mucinex, Children’s Mucinex, Mucinex Sinus-Max and Mucinex Allergy.
There are warnings that come with the use of Mucinex. For example, you’re advised to stay well hydrated when you’re using it and never to take more than instructed on the label or by your doctor. You should also inform your doctor of any nonprescription supplements or vitamins you’re taking, if you have breathing problems, and if you’re taking the dissolving granule version of the drug you should tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney problems.
When discussing alcohol and Mucinex, it’s helpful to know the difference between Mucinex and Mucinex DM. Mucinex DM is unique because it also contains a drug called dextromethorphan, which controls coughing by creating a message to the part of your brain that controls your cough reflex. Both Mucinex and Mucinex DM come in maximum strength versions as well. The side effects of both are similar to one another and can include diarrhea, dizziness, headache, drowsiness and stomach pain.
Some of the other drugs that shouldn’t be used with Mucinex DM include many drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders including depression, and Parkinson’s disease medications. When you combine these medicines with Mucinex DM, it can lead to the potentially deadly serotonin syndrome.
So, what about alcohol and Mucinex? Can you mix alcohol and Mucinex?
You shouldn’t combine alcohol and Mucinex DM in particular because it can amplify the side effects of both can contribute to a substance use disorder. You may feel high when you combine the two, and this can impair coordination, judgment, and thinking. It can also be dangerous and can make side effects of both the Mucinex and the alcohol more severe.
Dextromethorphan, like alcohol, affects the central nervous system which is why you may experience heightened symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness and impaired thinking.
If you take regular Mucinex without dextromethorphan, it’s important not to drink alcohol either. If you drink alcohol when taking regular Mucinex, it can also make the side effects of the medicine more severe, such as nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to dehydration, and if you’re taking Mucinex because of illness, the alcohol may make it harder for your immune system to fight that illness.
The risks of mixing alcohol and Mucinex DM are even more severe because Mucinex DM contains dextromethorphan. Mucinex DM on its own has a high potential for abuse because of the euphoric high dextromethorphan can create, and if you add alcohol, it can amplify this effect. There’s also a risk of substance use disorder when you mix alcohol and Mucinex DM.
The answer to “can you mix alcohol and Mucinex” is no, you shouldn’t, and you should always speak to your doctor before taking this medicine.
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