Analgesic/antitussive/decongestant/expectorant combination (By mouth)


Treats fever, headache, sore throat, body aches, sneezing, runny and stuffy nose, and cough. May also help to loosen mucus in upper airways.

Brand Name(s)

Cetafen Cough & Cold, Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold Fever, Comtrex Deep Chest Cold, Day Time, Decorel Forte Plus, Duraflu, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Cold Head Congestion, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Cold Multi-Symptom Severe, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Cold Relief, Good Sense Cold Daytime Multi-Symptom, Good Sense Cold Head Congestion Daytime Severe, Leader Severe Congestion Pain Relief Cold, Maxiflu DM, Medi-First Non-Pseudo Cold Relief, Mucinex Fast-Max Cold, Flu & Sore Throat

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid Filled Capsule, Tablet, Capsule, Liquid, Chewable Tablet, Fizzy Tablet

  • Avoid using the medicine at bedtime if it makes you restless.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Completely chew the chewable tablet before swallowing it.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • You may need to shake the liquid medicine container before opening it.
  • If the medicine is an effervescent tablet, carefully stir the tablet into at least 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water. Drink all of it right away.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You should not use this medicine if you are using certain medicines for depression called MAO inhibitors, such as Nardil®, Marplan®, Eldepryl®, or Parnate®.
  • Do not use other medicines that contain acetaminophen, a cough suppressant, a decongestant, or an expectorant while taking this medicine. You may be getting more than a safe amount of these medicines.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Acetaminophen can damage your liver and alcohol can increase this risk. If you often drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day, do not take any medicines that contain acetaminophen without asking your doctor.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, emphysema or other serious lung problems, an enlarged prostate gland that causes trouble passing urine, or thyroid problems.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you drink alcohol often.
  • This medicine may make you nervous, dizzy, or unable to sleep. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Children may be more sensitive to this medicine than adults, especially if they take too much of it. Always read the medicine label carefully so you give your child the right amount. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you are not sure how much medicine to give your child.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Fever that lasts for a long time or a fever that does not go away.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Cough that lasts for a long time or a cough that does not go away.
  • New symptoms.
  • Redness of your throat or swelling around your throat.
  • Trouble passing urine.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 12/4/2015

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.