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In general, people don't often experience side effects with guaifenesin; however, problems can occur. Possible reactions include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, as well as kidney stones. Kidney stones, while rare, are a serious side effect of this medication. Drinking plenty of water during treatment with guaifenesin can help reduce the chances of this problem occurring.

An Introduction to Guaifenesin Side Effects

As with any medicine, guaifenesin -- an active ingredient in Mucinex®, Robitussin®, and many other medications -- can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If adverse reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with guaifenesin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Side Effects of Guaifenesin

Some reactions to guaifenesin are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. However, these side effects are quite rare. These problems include but are not limited to:
 
  • Kidney stones
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
     
    • An unexplained rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
Kidney stones have been reported only rarely as a guaifenesin side effect. Nonetheless, be sure to drink plenty of water while taking this medicine, since this decreases the risk of kidney stones in general and helps improve the effectiveness of the medication.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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