A cough have the right to be anything native a minor annoyance to severe misery, keeping you up in ~ all hrs of the night. Once you have actually a cold through a pesky cough, you might reach for a party of over-the-counter (OTC) sneeze syrup. If you’ve checked out your physician for her illness, that or she may even prescribe a more powerful cough preparation. 

So, what if you want to enjoy a glass that wine with dinner or a beer throughout the football game? deserve to you mix cough syrup and also alcohol? 

Unfortunately, alcohol and also cough syrup execute not mix. Combining cough syrup and also alcohol have the right to lead to enhanced dizziness and drowsiness and impair her coordination and also driving. Part cough drugs contain alcohol as well, so the impacts can it is in even much more severe. Proceed reading to learn an ext about interactions in between common cough syrups and alcohol. 

Common sneeze syrups and also their ingredients 

First, let’s break down some that the most common over-the-counter (OTC) and also prescription cough medicines and their ingredients that relax coughing.

OTC: 

Prescription: 

Tussionex (contains chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone)

As you deserve to see above, the most usual ingredients for coughs room dextromethorphan and codeine

Can friend mix dextromethorphan and also alcohol? 

What wake up if you space taking an OTC or prescription cough medication that includes the sneeze suppressant dextromethorphan—can you mix the Robitussin-DM and also alcohol? Or Delsym and alcohol? Or any kind of other product that contains dextromethorphan with alcohol?

Nope. Also though you have the right to readily find products containing dextromethorphan OTC, this medicines deserve to be very dangerous when mixed with alcohol. 

Why is that? Well, dextromethorphan and also alcohol room both central nervous mechanism (CNS) depressants, which means they reason relaxation, sleepiness, and also a euphoric feeling. Dextromethorphan, top top its own, is a commonly abused drug. And also mixing dextromethorphan and also alcohol causes additive next effects, which have the right to increase the danger of overdose. Some results this combination can cause include:

Respiratory depression (slowed breathing)Out-of-body feelingBrain lesions that can reason memory and also behavior problemsEpilepsyPermanent psychosis

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What about guaifenesin?

Guaifenesin is one expectorant, which helps loosen mucus. Many civilization use this medication to assist break up a “phlegmy” cough. Gaafenesin is uncovered in OTC commodities such together Mucinex or level Robitussin (not Mucinex-DM or Robitussin-DM—the DM represents dextromethorphan in this products). Some prescription products, such as Robitussin v codeine, likewise contain guaifenesin. 

Although guaifenesin technically walk not connect with alcohol, the is still much better to skip the alcohol while sick. Alcohol can cause symptoms the the illness (and side effects of your medicines) to worsen. Alcohol can additionally make you dehydrated and weaken your immune system. 

Can friend mix codeine cough syrup and also alcohol? 

Let’s speak your cough is so serious that girlfriend skipped the OTC aisle and also went directly to her doctor, who prescribed a sneeze syrup that has hydrocodone or codeine. Deserve to you mix a hydro codon or codeine sneeze syrup and alcohol? 

Narcotic medications such together hydrocodone or codeine contain a black box warning, i beg your pardon is the the strongest warning forced by the United says Food and Drug management (FDA). This drugs have actually a high potential because that abuse and dependence as soon as taken on their own, leading to overdose and also death. Cough syrups the contain medicine are controlled substances and should it is in selectively prescribed to closely screened adults whereby the services outweigh the risks. As soon as taken on your own, this codeine-containing sneeze syrups can additionally lead come serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory tract depression. 

Now, include in alcohol? that’s a huge no. The manufacturers that these sneeze syrups warn (also in the black color box warning) the combining opioids such as codeine or hydrocodone v alcohol can reason “profound sedation, respiratory tract depression, coma, and death.” Hydrocodone- or codeine-containing sneeze syrup to add alcohol equates to a prescription for disaster. 

Also, some OTC and also prescription sneeze medicines, in enhancement to their cough suppressant ingredients, save on computer a tiny amount the alcohol. So now you’d be combining every the results of the medication with alcohol and more alcohol. 

Which sneeze syrups save alcohol?

This chart, created by the Medical society of the State of brand-new York, has a considerable list of medicines that save alcohol and also medications that do not save alcohol. 

Some typical cough syrups that contain alcohol encompass some formulations that NyQuil, ZzzQuil, and also other nighttime cough or cough/cold syrups, among others. 

Which cough syrups execute not contain alcohol?

Better yet, choose an alcohol-free formulation.


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Most pharmacies lug a couple of types of alcohol-free sneeze syrups, such as alcohol-free Tussin-DM or Safe-Tussin DM. If you desire to prevent alcohol in her glass and her medication, select one of this options. However, as formulations may change over the years, that prudent to inspect the label v your pharmacist when choosing an OTC cough medication to make certain there is no alcohol in the product.