Nyquil is an over-the-counter drug used to treat symptoms caused by allergies, the common cold, the flu, and breathing illnesses like bronchitis and sinusitis. It contains three active ingredients:
- Acetaminophen – A non-aspirin fever reducer and pain reliever
- Dextromethorphan – A cough suppressant that alters part of the brain and thus reduces cough
- Doxylamine succinate – An antihistamine that relieves runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy throat and nose, and watery eyes
Do not use Nyquil to treat ongoing coughs from smoking, long-term breathing problems or asthma. Like other over-the-counter drugs, continuous use of Nyquil may cause serious side effects, dependence and, in some cases, withdrawal symptoms.
How to Take Nyquil
Ensure that you read and follow all instructions on the packaging label. Use it as directed by your pharmacist or doctor.
If you are taking Nyquil in liquid form, measure the dose using the given measuring spoon. Nyquil is also available as extended-release capsules.
The dosage recommendation you get from your doctor is based on your response to treatment, age, and medical condition. Avoid taking it more than prescribed, longer than prescribed, or increasing your dose. Improper use may lead to abuse and harm like brain damage or seizure.
If your condition continues for more than one week or worsens, let your doctor know as it may not be the right medication for you.
One of the ingredients found in Nyquil is acetaminophen. If you consume too much acetaminophen, it can lead to liver disease. If you have liver problems, take only small amounts of acetaminophen. Children should also take fewer amounts. Consult with your doctor on how much acetaminophen you should take.
Do not combine Nyquil with other drugs unless under your doctor’s orders. Since acetaminophen is found in many cough and cold medications, check all the labels on your medicine. If you find that it is present, ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.
Minor Side Effects of Nyquil
Prolonged use of Nyquil can have adverse effects on your health. However, many people using this prescription do not experience serious side effects. Some of the side effects include:
- Dry mouth, throat or nose
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach
Doctors recommend this medication if they feel that the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects. If you experience the above side effects, talk with your doctor.
Serious Side Effects of Nyquil
In some cases, you may experience the following more serious side effects:
- Trouble urinating
- Mood changes
- Irregular heartbeat
Tell your doctor so that they may take appropriate action. Some patients report significant allergic reactions when they take Nyquil. Seek medical attention if you experience allergic reactions like:
- Breathing trouble
- Swelling or itching of the throat, tongue or face
- Severe dizziness
Precautions to Consider
The following are some precautions you should take by speaking with your doctor before taking this medication:
- Existing health problems: High blood pressure, seizures, kidney problems, overactive thyroid, asthma, diabetes, heart problems, glaucoma, constipation, etc.
- Allergies: Any form of allergies
- Certain diseases: Nyquil contains aspartame, alcohol or sugar, so if you have liver disease, phenylketonuria, alcohol dependence, diabetes or a condition that requires you to limit the use of these substances, proceed with caution and seek your doctor’s advice
- Older individuals: Older people have a higher sensitivity to Nyquil; low blood pressure, constipation, dizziness and drowsiness increase the chances of falling
- Surgical procedures: Advise your doctor before any intensive surgeries
- Avoid operating heavy machinery: May cause blurred vision and drowsiness, so do not drive, operate machinery, drink alcohol, or engage in something that requires alertness
- Avoid breastfeeding: Nyquil can pass into breast milk and lead to undesirable effects in an infant
Interaction With Other Drugs
Drug interaction can alter how your prescription works, and in some cases, it may increase the risk of significant side effects. Ensure that you record all your medications and show them to your doctor. Do not stop or change the dosage without your doctor’s approval.
Some MAO inhibitors lead to serious drug interaction when taken alongside Nyquil. They include:
- Methylene blue
- Sleeping and anxiety drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Opioids like codeine and hydrocodone
Nyquil contains medications found in other products, so using such products alongside Nyquil may increase the overall side effects. Nyquil may also interfere with your lab tests, leading to false results. Before undertaking a lab test, make sure your doctor knows that you use Nyquil.
Nyquil Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
The consistent use of Nyquil over a long period may lead to dependency and addiction, especially if you are using it against to your doctor’s advice. Addiction cases may result when you use any drug more often than is recommended to achieve the desired effect.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
When this medication is used alone, the chances of getting Nyquil addiction are low. However, when combined with other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana, you may experience dangerous health complications such as:
- High blood pressure
- Impaired motor control
Individuals who have Nyquil use disorder can develop liver and kidney damage. In some cases, they also experience memory problems. By the time you realize that you are addicted to Nyquil, it may be much more difficult to quit using it. The sudden stop of Nyquil use might lead to significant withdrawal symptoms, so before stopping, seek the advice of your doctor.
Withdrawal symptoms occur within a few hours after stopping, and they peak within three days. Some common Nyquil withdrawal symptoms include:
- Vomiting and stomach cramps
- Cold flashes
- Weight loss
The good news is that Nyquil addiction is treatable if you follow all the recommended detox procedures.
There is always a risk of an overdose when you use Nyquil other than prescribed by your doctor. The following symptoms are predominant in an individual who has overdosed:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing eyes or skin
- Abdominal pain
- Extreme tiredness
Children may be excited at first, followed by loss of consciousness, drowsiness, seizures and coordination loss. If you come across an individual who has overdosed, call 911 or a poison control center right away.
Often, addiction leads to an overdose, knowingly or unknowingly. To prevent future cases of Nyquil overdose and other health complications, seek medical rehabilitation to help you quit using the drug. A rehabilitation facility like Granite Recovery Centers can guide you on your road to recovery.
Granite Recovery Centers
Your recovery journey starts at Granite Recovery Centers. We’ve been helping adults with substance use disorder and mental health issues for over 10 years.
Our full continuum of care features primary residential treatment, sober living, medical detox, intensive outpatient counseling, and much more. Our active and growing alumni community is evidence of our success, so you can trust us with your health. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
- Inpatient drug rehab – Our inpatient drug rehab centers offer intensive, round-the-clock monitored support in helping you get sober. We help you gain appropriate skills and insights to maintain your long-term sobriety. We have residential programs at Green Mountain Treatment Center, the Granite House, and New Freedom Academy Canterbury, all in New Hampshire. Our caring medical staff can ease your withdrawal symptoms and motivate you to continue rehabilitation with therapy.
- NFA Behavioral Health – At NFABH, we offer clinical psychotherapeutic support that features group therapy, motivational interviewing, grief and loss therapy, one-on-one individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and co-occurring mental disorders treatment. In addition, we provide nutritious meals at our gender-separate living accommodations.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – Green Mountain Treatment Center offers a serene, secluded environment that allows our patients to live with their peers in scenic surroundings. We incorporate individualized treatment plans, a 12-step-centered curriculum, medical detox, clinical modalities and holistic therapies. You also get to enjoy an on-site gym, transport services, meditation and yoga, workshops and education programs, and gender-separate programs.
- Sober Living – These homes offer early recovery programs with ongoing support from our professionals. You get to interact with your peers as you all seek to enjoy a successful recovery journey.
- Alumni program – After your recovery process, you get the unique opportunity to join our ever-growing alumni community. Regular meetings let you share your experiences with your peers and also engage in motivational programs. You are part of our tribe.
Granite Recovery Centers provides drug rehabilitation programs to help individuals who want to leave substance abuse and dependence behind them. Seek our services today if you need help to overcome substance use disorder. The journey may be difficult, but it is worth the effort.
Although it is rare to become addicted to Nyquil, there is always a chance when you use it with other drugs like alcohol or marijuana. Do not take Nyquil other than prescribed by your pharmacist or doctor. If you endure significant withdrawal symptoms after stopping its use, seek the intervention of your doctor.