Dextromethorphan/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
brompheniramine-phenylephrine-DM 4 mg-10 mg-20 mg/5 mL oral liquid
This combination medication is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that affects a certain part of the brain (cough center), reducing the urge to cough. Decongestants help relieve stuffy nose symptoms. Antihistamines relieve watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing.
Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.
These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.
If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.
If you are taking the extended-release capsules, swallow them whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
Chewable forms of this medication should be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.
If you are taking the powder, mix it thoroughly in the proper amount of liquid and stir well. Drink all of the liquid right away. Do not prepare a supply for future use.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition and response to therapy. If you are taking this medication for allergy or hay fever symptoms, take it regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
Improper use of this medication (abuse) may result in serious harm (e.g., brain damage, seizure, death). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than directed.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, upset stomach, nausea, constipation, or dry mouth/nose/throat may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute. This medication can dry up and thicken mucus in your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and clear your lungs. To help prevent this effect, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations)
- ringing in the ears
- shaking (tremors)
- trouble urinating
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
- easy bruising/bleeding
- fast/slow/irregular heartbeat
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema)
- a certain eye problem (glaucoma)
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- kidney problems
- liver disease
- stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, blockage)
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- urination problems (e.g., trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention)
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
This medicine may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the safe use of this medicine.
Liquid preparations of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, mental/mood changes, constipation, fast heartbeat, trouble urinating, or blood pressure changes. Dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
Children may be more sensitive to the effects of antihistamines. In young children, this medication may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Taking certain MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking isocarboxazid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, or tranylcypromine during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this medication. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors within 2 weeks of starting or stopping this medication.
Some products that may interact with this drug are:
- antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray)
- antispasmodics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids)
- beta blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol)
- drugs for Parkinson's disease (including anticholinergics such as trihexyphenidyl)
- certain inhaled anesthetics (e.g., halothane)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine)
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or other antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Some products have ingredients that could affect your heart rate or blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products or diet aids).
This medication may interfere with certain medical/lab tests (such as brain scan for Parkinson's disease, urine drug screening tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: agitation, confusion, flushing, hallucinations, large pupils, muscle twitching, seizures. In children, excitement may occur first, and may be followed by loss of coordination, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, seizures.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, do not share it with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Do not take this product for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.
If you are taking this product on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Information last revised November 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.