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Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan, and Phenylephrine (a seet a MIN oh fen, deks troe meth OR fan, & fen il EF rin)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Alka-Seltzer Plus® Day Cold [OTC]; Comtrex® Maximum Strength, Non-Drowsy Cold & Cough [OTC]; Mapap® Multi-Symptom Cold [OTC]; Theraflu Warming Relief® Daytime Multi-Symptom Cold [OTC]; Theraflu Warming Relief® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough [OTC]; Theraflu® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough [OTC]; Tylenol® Cold Head Congestion Daytime [OTC]; Tylenol® Cold Multi-Symptom Daytime [OTC]; Vicks® DayQuil® Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom [OTC]; Vicks® Nature Fusion™ Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom Relief [OTC]

Warning

  • Talk with the doctor before giving this drug to a child. Check all of your child’s drugs, including OTC, with doctor.
  • Sometimes drugs are not safe when your child takes them with other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about all the drugs your child takes.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to stop coughing.
  • It is used to ease pain.
  • It is used to treat nose stuffiness.

Is it safe for my child to take this drug?

  • Not if your child has an allergy to acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, phenylephrine, or any other part of this drug.
  • Be sure to let the doctor know if your child has any allergies or side effects to drugs, foods, or dyes. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs your child had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Avoid giving your child other sources of acetaminophen. An overdose may cause problems.
  • Read package labeling carefully, Make sure you have the right strength of the product your child needs.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has heart disease, talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has high blood pressure, talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has liver disease, talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has PKU, talk with your child’s doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • Check all drugs your child is taking with your child’s doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
  • Limit your child’s use of caffeine and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
  • Be careful if your child has G6PD deficiency. Anemia may happen.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

  • If any of this news causes you to be worried, any of the unwanted side effects happen, or if your child is not better after taking this drug.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
  • If your child shows signs of a very bad reaction, call your child’s doctor or the ER right away. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or if your child is not acting normal.
  • If your child has chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • If your child shows signs of very bad dizziness or passes out.
  • If your child has a bad headache.
  • If your child has a cough that does not go away.
  • If your child is not able to eat.
  • If your child is feeling very tired or weak.
  • If your child has dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • If your child gets a rash.
  • If your child’s health problem does not get better or if you think your child’s health problem is worse.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

  • Nervous and excitable.
  • Dry mouth. Good mouth care may help. Older children may suck hard, sugar-free candy. Have your child see a dentist often.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Harm to the liver may rarely happen.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • Do not give more than what the doctor told you to give. Harm to the liver may happen.
  • Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • There is a liquid (solution) if your child cannot swallow pills.
  • Children who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.
  • Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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