Precautions and Warnings With Guaifenesin
Guaifenesin is commonly used to treat a cough with chest congestion. However, if the cough lasts for more than seven days or goes away and comes back, stop taking it and see a healthcare provider. Other warnings with guaifenesin apply to people with COPD, bronchitis, asthma, or other breathing conditions. A few simple precautions when taking this medicine can help ensure a safe treatment process.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Beginning Treatment?Prior to taking guaifenesin (an active ingredient in Mucinex®, Robitussin®, and many other medications), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- A cough that is accompanied by too much phlegm
- A fever, rash, or persistent headache
- A cough that lasts more than seven days or goes away and comes back
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- A smoker
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Guaifenesin Warnings and PrecautionsPrecautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking guaifenesin include the following:
- While many cases of coughing and chest congestion can be safely self-treated, people with asthma or COPD (including chronic bronchitis and emphysema) should seek the help of a healthcare professional when treating coughing or chest congestion.
- Stop taking guaifenesin and contact your healthcare provider if your cough lasts for more than seven days; goes away and comes back; or is accompanied by a fever, rash, or a persistent headache. These symptoms may indicate a more serious problem.
- Do not give guaifenesin (or any other cough or cold medication) to children under the age of four, unless the child's healthcare provider specifically recommends such products.
- Guaifenesin is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may present risks to a fetus (see Guaifenesin and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if guaifenesin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Guaifenesin and Breastfeeding).