Pros: Almost anyone over the age of 12 can take this, no drowsiness or jitters
Cons: Doesn't really effectively clear the head of congestion as it claims
Spring is in the air. The grass is finally green. The sun is shining. And I am sick. This is not a new concept. I seem to get sick whenever the seasons change (and often for no reason at all!). This time, I have a whopper of an inner ear problem along with a sinus infection.
As I write this, I am battling the next round of symptoms --a sore throat and yet another fever.
One problem I have is that, when I get all backed up with fluid from a sinus infection or allergies (of which I suffer from many), my inner ears take a hit. I have a lot of problems with my ears and fluid plus my bad ears equals a load of dizziness. I have been nearly crawling from room to room since I got sick and finally managed to make it to my doctor's for help. Or so I thought. I didn't get help but I did get a nice long wait in a crowded, stuffy waiting room and a big fat bill for his five minutes of time.
Oh, yes, and a suggestion to try Mucinex 600 mg Guaifenesin Extended Release tablets
Here's the thing. I have a thyroid condition that is taken care of with thyroid hormone replacement. Usually, that isn't an issue for me. However, when I get sick, I can't take many over the counter medications, especially any decongestants. That leaves me with very few options to clear my head and chest. Ahh, to be able to take Thera Flu or Drixoral just one more time...
I am stuck with only pure antihistamines like Benadryl which, if my nose is running like crazy and I am having allergy symptoms, help some. With this illness, though, Benadryl seems to do nothing but make the gunk in my head even thicker and more troublesome.
When the doctor suggested Mucinex, I was quick to ask if it is OK to take with a thyroid problem (I don't trust that he remembers anything) and he said it was safe to take with almost any medical condition and with any other medication. I didn't know what it was but if it helped and was safe, I was all for it.
The Official Word
The www.mucinex.com website describes this product this way:
Mucinex? is an expectorant that helps you cough more productively so you can get rid of excess mucus and breathe easier.
Mucinex? is the only FDA-approved, long-lasting expectorant made with extended-release guaifenesin
Mucinex? provides nondrowsy relief from congestion
Mucinex? is a convenient, easy-to-take, bi-layer tablet that works 2 ways:
The white layer immediately releases the medicine
The blue layer works steadily, releasing medicine hour after hour
Mucinex? lasts up to 12 hours
What it is
As it says above, this is an expectorant that helps thin and loosen mucus and enables you to better get rid of it so you can start feeling better. I don't have a chest cold but I know that when I do get them, nothing feels worse than coughing my head off and feeling like there is something in my lungs that won't go away. This product is supposed to be especially good at breaking up the thick congestion in the lungs to help you feel better faster.
Because my problem is in my head -- I hear you snickering, you know what I mean, I have fluid and congestion in my head -- I wasn't sure if Mucinex would be worth taking or not. But, without much else to rely on, I went out and bought a box of 20 pills.
Mucinex comes in a deceptively large box. You feel like you're getting something for your $10.00. When you open the box, there is a bottle of 20 pills inside about the size of a large bottle of Tylenol and an empty half of box for no reason. But wait! When you open the bottle, there is cotton. Not just one wad, but two huge wads of it. When you FINALLY get to the pills, aside from a big "Do Not Eat" moisture pellet, the pills could fit into a jar about as big as one of my lip balms come in. With room to spare. It seems pretty crazy to go so out of the way to make a big box and a big bottle for 20 little pills but, I suppose perception is everything. Or is that DECEPTION? Hmm...
Per Each Extended-Release Tablet: Guaifenesin 600 mg
Carbomer 934P NF; FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake; Hypromellose USP; Magnesium Stearate NF; Microcrystalline Cellulose NF; Sodium Starch Glycolate NF"""
The pills are a bit smaller than the size of a dime and fairly thick. They are blue and white and not the easiest to swallow. You can take one or two every 12 hours. The directions dont tell you which is best to take so I opted for one at a time since I didnt have any idea how they would make me feel.
And six pills later, I am still trying to figure out how they make me feel.
Mucinex doesnt cause drowsiness or rapid heartbeat or any other side affect that is common with medications for colds, allergies, and the flu. It really doesnt do anything except to thin secretions as it claims.
I did notice that I had more gunk coming down my throat after taking a pill but I wasnt particularly pleased with that. If anything, the extra secretions made me a bit nauseated. I still feel dizzy, my ears are still full, and I am coughing now because of all the junk slithering down my throat. But maybe thats a good thing. Its better than having fluid in my sinuses and ears, I suppose.
Still, if I didnt have a thyroid problem and could take traditional remedies like I used to, I would never take Mucinex. I see no reason to. Perhaps for those with chest colds whose lungs are filled up, Mucinex could help alleviate the fullness and make coughing more productive as they say and help rid the body of the phlegm in the lungs. Of course, any good cough medicine with expectant can do that as well.
The Bottom Line
For $9.99, I got 20 pills which, taken two at a time, twice daily as directed would last me five days. Thats fairly pricey for just an expectorant that doesnt treat any other symptoms. I think they could lower the price if they pared down the box and bottle and just sold a small bottle of pills rather than making a big production out of the packaging.
I havent gained much benefit from Mucinex Expectorant after three days and I doubt I will continue to take them. If you can take other medications for colds and allergies, do so. This product could be useful, however, for those who are on thyroid or blood pressure medications and simply cannot combine decongestants and other medications with their daily meds.
Otherwise, I dont see any need for a separate product that is JUST an expectorant. Most cold and flu remedies have an expectorant in them already if you feel you need one, plus other things to help you feel better. This product is a one trick pony and it doesnt do the trick very well.
Kids under 12 shouldnt take this product. Always ask your doctor before taking any medication if you are pregnant or nursing. And always take this medication with a full glass of water or liquid to help it absorb and start to work. You should not crush the pill, you must take it whole to keep the "extended release" affect. This product can be taken on an empty or full stomach with no ill affects.
The official website for Mucinex products is www.mucinex.com
425 Main Street, Colonial Court
Chester, NJ 07930
Development and Operations
14841 Sovereign Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155
Questions or Comments?