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Drug Profile

Do NOT stop taking this or any drug without the advice of your physician. Some drugs can cause severe adverse effects when they are stopped suddenly.

Do Not Use [what does this mean?]
Generic drug name: guaifenesin (gwye FEN e sin)
Brand name(s): MUCINEX, ROBITUSSIN
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Expectorants
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Alternative Treatment [top]

Safety Warnings For This Drug [top]

Warning

Beware of physicians prescribing and pharmacists compounding guaifenesin to treat fibromyalgia. Our search of the medical literature (April 26, 2004) found no published studies documenting the use of guaifenesin for this use. Drugs compounded by pharmacists are not approved by the FDA and are not produced in facilities meeting Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines.

Facts About This Drug [top]

Guaifenesin was first marketed in the United States in 1951. It is currently approved by the FDA to help loosen phlegm (mucus) and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive. Doubts about the effectiveness of guaifenesin stretch back to the early 1970s.[1]

Our suggestion is to drink lots of liquids, especially soup and other hot drinks, and inhale steam from hot showers and warm baths to help to loosen secretions rather than take guaifenesin.

If you have a cough, it is not...

Guaifenesin was first marketed in the United States in 1951. It is currently approved by the FDA to help loosen phlegm (mucus) and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive. Doubts about the effectiveness of guaifenesin stretch back to the early 1970s.[1]

Our suggestion is to drink lots of liquids, especially soup and other hot drinks, and inhale steam from hot showers and warm baths to help to loosen secretions rather than take guaifenesin.

If you have a cough, it is not necessarily a good idea to take a cough suppressant. Coughing clears mucous plugs and thick secretions from your airways and opens collapsed segments of your lungs.

Even a dry, irritating cough associated with an upper respiratory infection that is not producing mucus is best not treated with a drug. If your cough persists, you should see a doctor or other health professional, especially if you are a smoker.

last reviewed February 28, 2021