Can You Safely Take Nyquil And Mucinex Together?
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
July 7, 2023

Can You Take Nyquil And Mucinex Together?

Yes, you can absolutely take NyQuil and Mucinex together. There is no known drug interaction between them.

However, be careful about confusing Mucinex with Mucinex-D and Mucinex-DM.

You should not take Mucinex DM and NyQuil together, as both medications contain dextromethorphan. Confused yet?!

No worries – the table below compares all four medications in an organized and easy-to-follow format:

Comparison of NyQuil, Mucinex, Mucinex D, Mucinex DM

DifferenceNyQuilMucinexMucinex DMucinex DM
Active ingredient(s)acetaminophen, doxylamine, dextromethorphan guaifenesinguaifenesin, pseudoephedrineguaifenesin, dextromethorphan
Treatment of symptom(s)cough, fever, congestion, aches/pains, runny nose, sore throat, headache, sneezingchest congestion (mucus)chest congestion, nasal congestionchest congestion, cough
UsageNighttimeThoughout the Dayevery 12 hours (no more than 4 tabs in 24-hour period)every 12 hours (no more than 4 tabs in 24-hour period)
Drug Formsoral liquid capsule, oral solutionextended-release oral tablet, oral granulesextended-release oral tablet, immediate-release tabletextended-release oral tablet, immediate-release tablet
Side effect risksYesNoYesYes

Now, let’s explore each medication in more detail to understand how they work individually, review their differences, and how they work together to alleviate your symptoms.

Difference between Nyquil and Mucinex

Mucinex active ingredient

Mucinex’s sole active ingredient is guaifenesin, which is an expectorant. It treats chest congestion.

Specifically, this ingredient helps loosen mucus in your chest, allowing you to cough it up and expel it from your body.

Active Ingredients in NyQuil

NyQuil is a popular over-the-counter medication used to treat cold and flu symptoms, providing benefits such as relief from coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and fever.

NyQuil contains acetaminophen (a pain reliever and fever reducer, brand name Tylenol in the US), dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), and doxylamine succinate (a sedating antihistamine).

These components work together to provide multi-symptom relief, but it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks when considering combining NyQuil with other medications.

For instance, combining multiple active ingredients can lead to drug interactions if taken with other medications containing similar components.

Specifically, you could have additive effects or even worse, synergistic effects.

In terms of pharmacology, synergism can be good or bad, depending on the medication.

Synergism means that you will need smaller doses of each medication to exert a more potent or sustained pharmacological effect in the body (the sum is greater than the parts).

So, if regular doses of each medication are taken, ignoring the concept of synergism, you may experience greater adverse effects when both medications are combined (again, the sum is greater than the parts).

Difference between Mucinex, Mucinex D, and Mucinex DM

  • Mucinex: Contains guaifenesin only, as stated above.
  • Mucinex D: Contains guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that shrinks inflamed and swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages.
  • Mucinex DM: Contains guaifenesin and dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant. It does NOT contain pseudoephedrine.

Still confused? This great video by a pharmacist discusses the differences between the Mucinex formulations:

NyQuil vs ZzzQuil

NyQuil and ZzzQuil are NOT the same. Both contain sedating antihistamines.

As stated above, NyQuil contains doxylamine, acetaminophen, and dextromethorphan.

ZzzQuil on the other hand contains only diphenhydramine. You should not be taking NyQuil and ZzzQuil together.

I have written a detailed article about both medications here.


Potential Interactions and Side Effects

When considering the combination of these medications, it’s crucial to be aware of potential interactions and side effects.

For example, mixing them might lead to increased drowsiness or other adverse reactions.

Drug combinations can sometimes lead to unforeseen consequences, so it’s always best to consult your doctor or pharmacist before combining any medications.

Furthermore, if you’re already taking other medications or have pre-existing health conditions, this combination could exacerbate existing issues or negatively affect your current treatment plan.

To ensure the safest possible outcome for yourself and others around you, seek advice from a medical professional before combining Nyquil and Mucinex or any other medication combinations.

Be very careful about overdosing on dextromethorphan. This very informative video by a medical doctor goes into the dangers of dextromethorphan overdose:

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait between taking NyQuil and Mucinex to avoid potential interactions?

There is no interaction between NyQuil and Mucinex; they can be taken together safely.

Can I take Mucinex and NyQuil together if I have a pre-existing medical condition, such as high blood pressure?

Yes, you can take NyQuil and Mucinex together if you have high blood pressure.

They will not increase your blood pressure. However, be careful if you take Mucinex-D and NyQuil if you have high blood pressure.

Mucinex-D contains pseudoephedrine (active ingredient in Sudafed), a nasal decongestant, which can increase your blood pressure temporarily and interfere with your blood pressure medication’s ability to control your blood pressure.

Talk to your doctor first before taking these medications!

For more detailed information about taking pseudoephedrine and Mucinex together, read my article “Can I Take Sudafed And Mucinex Together?

Can I Take Nyquil With Advil?

Yes, you can take Advil with NyQuil safely together. There is no interaction between them.

Can I Take Benadryl And Nyquil Together?

No, Benadryl and NyQuil cannot be taken together. Both have sedating ingredients that work similarly and can cause oversedation, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and falls.


NyQuil and Mucinex can be taken safely together.

Mucinex D and NyQuil can be taken safely together (be careful if you have high blood pressure – talk to your doctor).

Mucinex DM and NyQuil should not be taken together. Both medications have dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant.

If in doubt or if you are confused, always check with your doctor or pharmacist!

Related Post