NyQuil: Usage and side effects that you should know about

Most people can agree that having a cold or flu is horrible. When you’re sick, you need to find a way to rest and heal, and NyQuil is one of the most well-known medications for treating the cold and flu. But, did you know that sometimes the latter has side effects that can stay with you for quite some time?

What is NyQuil?

NyQuil is a common medication to relieve cold and flu symptoms. It is manufactured by Vicks, which is an American company. NyQuil is sold over-the-counter in both pill and liquid form. NyQuil is an effective cold medicine due to its 3 main ingredients, which are;

  • Acetaminophen: This substance helps reduce fever and relieve minor pain.
  • Dextromethorphan: Used for suppressing cough.
  • Doxylamine: Helps relieve sneezing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. It is also an antihistamine, which helps with allergy. Moreover, it provides a feeling of drowsiness that may help patients sleep better.

What are the correct usages of NyQuil?

Like any other medications, NyQuil should be safe to use as long as you don’t overdose on it. The recommended usage of NyQuil is as follows:

Age restriction

NyQuil should only be used with adults and children 12 years of age or older. For 7-11 years old children, you can use Children’s NyQuil with doses of 15 mL every six hours and no more than four doses within 24 hours. 4-6 years old Children may take Children’s NyQuil if prescribed by their doctor. Finally, children under the age of 4 should not take any type of NyQuil at all.

Dosage

For NyQuil LiquiCaps (the Nyquil gel in a capsule), you should take 2 capsules with water every 6 hours. And for NyQuil Liquid, you should take 2 tablespoons (30 mL) every 6 hours. Do not take more than four doses per day, no matter what type of NyQuil you take.

Other precautions

Check with your doctor before taking NyQuil if;

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking sedatives or tranquilizers.
  • In case of high blood pressure.
  • If you have glaucoma.
  • Or if you already have a breathing problem (asthma).

Do not consume NyQuil with alcoholic drinks, especially if you have already consumed more than two drinks on that day.

Do not take NyQuil with other medications that contain acetaminophen, such as antidepressants or medicine for Parkinson’s disease.

What are the side effects of NyQuil?

Even though NyQuil is useful, it can have some side effects, such as;

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth, nose, or throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excitability, especially in children

With these possible side effects, any person taking NyQuil should be careful to not engage in any kind of activities, nor should they operate heavy machinery/drive a vehicle, just as a precaution.

How long does it take for NyQuil to work?

After taking NyQuil, it usually takes 15-30 minutes for it to start working. When the medication begins to take effect, you will feel sleepy and relaxed, the pain or other symptoms from a cold or flu will lessen gradually. This will greatly help you rest more comfortably.

How long does NyQuil affect your body?

The effect of NyQuil should normally stay active in your body for up to 8 hours and can remain in your body for almost 3 days, which can be longer depending on each person. So if you want to alleviate the cold or flu symptoms but don’t want to be drowsy nor sleepy, you should take DayQuil, which is a medication from the same manufacturer that works similar to NyQuil but does not contain doxylamine.

Can you be allergic to NyQuil?

Yes. Although not very common, some people could have an allergic reaction to NyQuil. You should stop using NyQuil and contact a doctor immediately if you have these symptoms;

  • Pain or cough getting worse, especially if the symptoms persist longer than seven days.
  • Fever getting worse, especially if the symptoms persist longer than three days.
  • Rashes, itchiness, redness, or swelling occur after taking the medication.
  • Difficulty with swallowing and breathing, and swelling in the face, throat, and mouth.

Can you be addicted to NyQuil?

Yes, you can be addicted or become dependent on NyQuil if you regularly take it as a sleep aid or use it recreationally. With prolonged use, your body could develop tolerance which means you will need to use more NyQuil in order to feel its effects, which could lead to a form of addiction. However, as long as you use NyQuil correctly as prescribed, you should not be at risk.

In the end, we can conclude that NyQuil is a useful medicine to treat the symptoms of a cold or flu. But, like any other medications, it can be dangerous if wrongly used. Therefore, please take the time to read the instruction before using NyQuil, so you won’t have anything to worry about.

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