Mucinex Dm Expectorant Cough Suppressant Extended Release Tablets 40ct

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Oops, is that a lung I just brought up?

Dec 30, 2007 (Updated Dec 31, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Thins secretions and loosens mucous to allow for less painful, more efficient clearing of airways.

Cons:None.

The Bottom Line: Strongly recommend for those with tight, painful, unproductive coughs.


I write this review in a fit of hacking inspired by a ten minute session with a nebulizer loaded with Xopenex. Yes, ‘tis the season for pneumonia, fa la la la la and all that happy horse . . . stuff.

Once again, my pneumonia started as Influenza. As someone who smoked 2 ˝ - 3 packs a day for over 25 years, I shouldn’t be surprised that my lungs seem more prone to problems after bouts with influenza. Next year? Flu shot. Believe it.

After the clinic finished torturing—er, treating me, they sent me home with some very pricy prescriptions, including one for a medication combo that I cannot take—Guaifenesin PSE, which contains pseudoephedrine, a medication my heart really doesn’t tolerate well. So I ditched that particular script and headed to the pharmacy, where I picked up my very first box of Mucinex DM.

I actually grabbed this because my Mom had picked up a bottle of Mucinex Cough for Kids at my behest the day before. It seemed to work so well for my son that I dared to hope when it came to finding something effective for myself.

Mucinex DM contains the following active ingredients:

 600 mg Guaifenesin—an expectorant designed to thin mucous and lubricate airways, making it easier to cough up phlegm and clear the airways.

 30 mg Dextromethorphan—an antitussive or cough suppressant meant to temporarily soothe irritated throat and bronchial tissues.

The combination of these two active ingredients is meant to produce fewer, more productive coughs. A noble aim, I’d say.

Understand that Mucinex DM does not contain an antihistamine or a decongestant. If that’s what you need, Mucinex D contains Guaifenesin and Pseudoephedrine to help loosen congestion, improve cough productivity, sooth sinuses, and open up nasal passages.

Mucinex DM tablets are designed with two “layers.” The white layer contains the “immediate release” dosage, which begins to work immediately, while the yellow layer contains the “extended release” dosage, which is meant to continue working for twelve hours.

My first dose of Mucinex DM, was a heart-wrenching experience. See, it worked really well . . . for about four hours. Problem is, it can only be taken once every TWELVE hours, and one must be very careful not to accidentally double up on ingredients, i.e., if you’re taking this, you cannot take Nyquil, Robitussin DM, most varieties of Vicks Formula 44, etc., as they all share at least one common active ingredient. So I was left unable to bring up the gallons of crap in my lungs without some of the most agonizing, ripping coughs I’ve ever experienced. It was as if the stuff were quite literally SEWN in, and I was tearing it out, lung and all, with each ripping hack.

The next day, I decided to spread it out—instead of taking TWO Mucinex DM tablets every twelve hours, I took ONE every six hours. And oh, what a difference! I won’t say it was miraculous, but the difference in effectiveness for me was quite astonishing. No marked drop off in effect after a few hours, a good, constant chugging up of lung biscuits. I cannot speak as to whether or not this variation in dosing is considered an “okay” thing, but it is within the guidelines of no more than four tablets in 24 hours. As an afterthought, I did call the clinic—they didn’t seem to think that my variation on dosing was a potential problem.

Now, I do understand that the nebulizer loaded with Xopenex is most certainly making a difference in my ability to clear out my lungs. However, when I skip a dose of Mucinex DM, I see a definite difference in the quality and effectiveness of my expectoration.

Coughing is less painful and much more effective when I’ve taken Mucinex DM. In fact, after a few hours napping, I sound like some freaky engine revving over and over as I work things out. Sounds awful, but when you’ve ripped your lungs and throat raw trying unsuccessfully to clear your lungs, you find yourself very thankful for the productive coughs Mucinex DM brings.

I can’t really say if the cough suppressant part of Mucinex DM is particularly effective or not. I’ve had no “uncontrollable” coughing with this, strangely enough. All my hacking is self-directed, intentional hacking for the purpose of bringing things up.

Mucinex DM is not intended for use in children under the age of twelve. Mucinex does make products specifically for children, including Mucinex Cold for Kids, which does not contain Dextromethorphan, and worked quite well for my son in the expectorant and decongestant departments.

As per usual, there are many warnings concerning the use of this product. As is often the case with cold medications, folks taking MAO Inhibitors or SSR Inhibitors should not take Mucinex DM. Those with chronic coughs due to smoking, asthma, or COPD should absolutely speak to their doctors before taking Mucinex DM. Coughs that clear up and then recur, are accompanied by severe or persistent headaches, rashes, high fevers and/or heavy mucous production could indicate serious ailments (like mine) and should be checked out by a doctor immediately.

Side effects to Mucinex DM can include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, sweating, headache, hypertension, and diarrhea. I’ve had a touch of nausea, and, with as sick as I’ve been, who can tell what might be causing that? If any of these symptoms become severe or do not clear up, discontinue use and contact a physician.

Mucinex DM is not intended as a long term treatment of cough—if a cough persists for longer than one week, discontinue use and contact a physician.

Before I finish, I feel I must say that I have taken the combination of Guaifenesin and Dextromethorphan before—many times, in fact, and it never worked worth squat for me. However, I had not taken it since I quit smoking, and the difference this time was like night and day. Now, whether this is due to quitting smoking or just some magical way that Mucinex DM mates its ingredients, I cannot say for certain, though I’m leaning toward the quitting smoking. Not to take away from the Mucinex DM, of course.

In all, if you’ve got a tight, unproductive cough associated with a cold or the flu, I certainly recommend Mucinex DM. While I certainly wouldn’t wish this horrendous crud on anyone, I do hope that, if you wind up suffering a like ailment, you’ll find Mucinex DM to be as effective for you as it has been for me.


Recommend this product? Yes

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