acetaminophen and dextromethorphan

Generic Name: acetaminophen and dextromethorphan (a SEET a MIN oh fen and DEX troe me THOR fan)
Brand Names: Children's Triacting, Triaminic Cough & Sore Throat Softchews, Tylenol Cough and Sore Throat Daytime

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Do not use this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can cause damage to your liver.

Do not use any other cough, cold, allergy, or pain medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you take to see if it contains acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as "APAP") or dextromethorphan.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of liver damage while you are taking acetaminophen. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day, do not take acetaminophen without your doctor's advice, and never take more than 2 grams (2000 mg) per day.

Dextromethorphan will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking.


What is acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

The combination of acetaminophen and dextromethorphan is used to treat cough and pain or fever caused by the common cold or flu.

Acetaminophen and dextromethorphan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to acetaminophen or dextromethorphan.

Do not use a cough medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take a cough medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Dextromethorphan will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about taking this medication if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • alcoholism or cirrhosis of the liver; or
  • emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cough medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.


How should I take acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cough medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

An overdose of acetaminophen can cause serious harm. The maximum amount of acetaminophen for adults is 1 gram (1000 mg) per dose and 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. Taking more acetaminophen could cause damage to your liver. One dose of the oral liquid may contain up to 1000 mg of acetaminophen. Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific product you are taking.

Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Measure the liquid form of this medication with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Drink extra fluids while you are taking this medication.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cough medicine within the past few days.

Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.


What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.


What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Overdose symptoms may also include dizziness, drowsiness, feeling restless or nervous, diarrhea, loss of appetite, seizure (convulsions), or coma.


What should I avoid while taking acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not use any other cough, cold, allergy, or pain medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen and dextromethorphan are contained in many combination medicines. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as "APAP") or dextromethorphan.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of liver damage while you are taking acetaminophen. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day, do not take acetaminophen without your doctor's advice, and never take more than 2 grams (2000 mg) of acetaminophen per day.

Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice. Taking a stimulant together with cough medicine can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.


What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • slow, shallow breathing;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild loss of appetite, upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


What other drugs will affect acetaminophen and dextromethorphan?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • celecoxib (Celebrex);
  • cinacalcet (Sensipar);
  • darifenacin (Enablex);
  • imatinib (Gleevec);
  • isoniazid;
  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex);
  • ranolazine (Ranexa);
  • ritonavir (Norvir);
  • sibutramine (Meridia);
  • terbinafine (Lamisil);
  • zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT);
  • gout medication such as probenecid (Benemid);
  • medicines to treat high blood pressure;
  • seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with acetaminophen and dextromethorphan. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.


Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about acetaminophen and dextromethorphan.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision date: 07/29/2009.