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Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

Molecule Description

Guaifenesin is an ‘expectorant’ and is commonly used for relief of productive cough in children aged 6-12 years as a syrup and as a syrup or a tablet in adults.

Uses of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

To relieve the symptoms of productive cough (expectorant) in children aged 6-12 years. Guaifenesin causes more cough, which will increase the secretion and elimination of sputum and mucus from the airways, thus relieving the symptoms.
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Contraindications of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

When should one not use Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

  • If you have an allergy to Guaifenesin
  • If your child is being given any other cough medicines

Side effects of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Stomach pain or discomfort, loose motions, feeling sick (nausea), vomiting
  • Allergic skin reactions causing itching, rashes, redness, skin peeling and blisters

Precautions and Warnings of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin


Can I take Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin during pregnancy?
The effect of this medicine on the fetus is not known, consult your doctor if you are pregnant, your doctor will tell you the use of this medicine after assessing the benefits over risks.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin while breastfeeding?
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, as no information is available on the use of this medicine if you are breastfeeding, your doctor will tell you on the use of this medicine after assessing the benefits over risks.


Can I drive if I have consumed Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin?
No information is available on the ability to drive or operate any machines. However, if you observe or experience any side effects, it is advised not to drive or use tools. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for further information.


Can I consume alcohol with Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin?
No information is available on interactions of this medicine when taken with alcohol, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • You have any liver or kidney problems
  • You are suffering from a persistent cough or a cough that produces a lot of sputum
  • Asthma attacks

Mode of Action of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

How Does It Work?

In coughs producing sputum, the sputum is formed from secretions of the airways (mucus), causing a tight chest. Guaifenesin acts by drawing water into the airways and thinning down the mucus. This will cause the mucus in the airways to be expelled out; thus, the cold, cough, and any breathing difficulty are relieved.
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Interactions of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

Interactions with other medicines

  • No known or concerns about any medicine interactions with Guaifenesin
  • It may interfere with specific blood tests
  • Inform your doctor if you are giving Guaifenesin to your child

Interactions with food items

Guaifenesin can be taken with or without food.

Dietary Restrictions of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin

Drinking plenty of fluids will make sputum thinner and can be coughed out easily.

Dosage of Guaiphenesin / Guaifenesin


Unintentional overdose with Guaifenesin may not be harmful. Any symptoms such as stomach discomfort, feeling sick, or drowsiness should prompt medical attention. In case of intentional overdose, take the patient to a hospital immediately.
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Missed a Dose

If you miss any dose, take it as soon as you remember or continue with the next regular dose. Do not space two dosages closely or take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Content Details


Dr. Arpit Verma

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What is an expectorant? Is Guaifenesin an effective expectorant?

  • An ‘expectorant’ is any medicine that expels the sputum (phlegm or mucus) from your airways to outside by way of cough
  • Productive or chesty cough (cough with sputum) results when secretions of the airways are increased due to viral or bacterial infections or dust, pollen, or other allergies. The secretions will mix with other cells and substances in the airways and congest the airways causing tightness in chest, problematic breathing, and cough. The body wants to expel these secretions by way of cough. Guaifenesin thins down the secretions and increases cough by way of which it will relieve the congestion of the airways
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  • Guaifenesin is extracted from the bark of a tree called ‘guaiacum’ and is being used as a cough and cold remedy for hundreds of years
  • This medicine is proven to be safe and efficient for the treatment of cough associated with chest congestion

Q: What else should I know before using Guaifenesin?

  • If you are using Guaifenesin for children
  • Do not use more than four dosages in 24 hours
  • Do not use for more than 5 days without prescription
  • Inform the doctor immediately if you observe any side effects such as vomiting, stomach pain, high fever, rashes or headache or if you believe the medicine is not working properly
  • Never give Guaifenesin for more than prescribed amount or duration or with any other cough and cold medicines
  • The doctor should be informed if the patient has any liver or kidney problems
Last Updated on: 24 Dec 2020 | 01:48 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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