Article at a Glance:
- You may be tempted to take over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help manage symptoms when you have a cold. However, if you take Xanax, this can be dangerous.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any OTC medications because they can interact with Xanax.
- Be aware of the OTC ingredients with common Xanax interactions, including dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine.
Xanax & Cold Medicine Interactions
It can be harmful or even deadly to take Xanax and cold medications when you have a cold because of the risks of drug interactions. Xanax can have dangerous effects when mixed with certain cold medicines. For example, some cold medicines contain something called dextromethorphan (DXM), and if you were to use Xanax together with this over-the-counter substance, it could lead to problems ranging from dizziness to motor coordination.
Mucinex and Xanax
Mucinex contains the expectorant guaifenesin, and it is used to loosen mucus in the lungs and respiratory tract. It can help with certain types of productive coughs. Mucinex and Xanax do not have any drug interactions.
Mucinex DM and Xanax
Mucinex DM contains both guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. Xanax does not have any interactions with guaifenesin, but it should not be taken with dextromethorphan. Taking the two together can increase confusion, dizziness and drowsiness.
DXM and Xanax
DXM is a slang term for dextromethorphan. Both medications have a sedative effect, so taking them together increases the risk of drowsiness, dizziness and impairment.
Xanax and Dayquil
Like many other medications on this list, Dayquil contains dextromethorphan. Xanax should not be taken with dextromethorphan due to the sedation risk.
Robitussin and Xanax
Robitussin is another brand name for dextromethorphan. Taking both at the same time greatly increases the risk of drowsiness, confusion, sedation and impairment.
Sudafed and Xanax
Sudafed is a mild stimulant that can increase heart rate and breathing rate. It can also impact sleep if taken in doses that are too high. Xanax is a depressant, and mixing the two can increase the side effects of both the stimulant and the depressant.
Guaifenesin and Xanax
Guaifenesin is a substance used in many different drugs to relieve chest congestion. There are no significant drug interactions between guaifenesin and Xanax.
Summing Up – Xanax When You Have a Cold
If you want to take Xanax when you have a cold, contact your doctor to discuss how over-the-counter drugs may interact with your Xanax dosage. Always pay attention to drug labels to avoid substances that decrease the activity of your respiratory system, like dextromethorphan. Combining these with the effects of Xanax could be deadly. Your doctor may have specific recommendations for dealing with a cold while on Xanax.
If you struggle with Xanax misuse or find you’re unable to stop despite negative consequences, you may have a Xanax addiction. The Recovery Village can help with addiction treatment programs that address your substance use and any co-occurring mental health conditions the Xanax may have been prescribed for. Contact us today to discuss your situation and start on the path to a life without Xanax.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Mucinex DM Package Insert.” DailyMed, December 2009. Accessed December 23, 2021.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “SUDAFED 12 HOUR Package Insert.” DailyMed, December 2009. Accessed December 23, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interactions Between Dextromethorphan and Xanax.” Accessed December 23, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interactions Between Mucinex and Xanax.” Accessed December 23, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interactions Between Mucinex DM and Xanax.” Accessed December 23, 2021.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Pseudoephedrine.” MedlinePlus, February 2018. Accessed December 23, 2021.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Guaifenesin.” MedlinePlus, February 2018. Accessed December 23, 2021.
National Institute on Drug Abuse . “Commonly Used Drugs Charts.” August 2020. Accessed December 23, 2021.
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