Vicks DayQuil Liquid Reviews

Vicks DayQuil Liquid

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Don't Bother With Dayquil-Too Little for Too Much

Dec 20, 2000 (Updated Dec 20, 2000)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:somewhat effective, takes about 30 minutes

Cons:costly, fixed dose, not complete

'Tis the season to be sneezy,wheezy and sick. Unfortunately, I managed a dandy upper respiratory infection recently that lead me into the wonderful world of over-the-counter remedies. (And about $60 in prescription stuff!)

Frankly, I'd rather start tasting the cat food I review than mine this territory. Misery will change your buying habits- my usual avoidance of fixed-combination medicines evaporated in the desire for a fix-me-quick remedy. Vick's products are available everywhere-even most convenience stores, so they're handy and promise much. Nyquil does a fair job-relieves most symptoms,and truly helps you sleep. Tastes like punishment for past sins, but there are capsule forms if you can locate them.

DayQuil is NyQuil, minus the sedative/antihistamine component (doxcylamine succinate). Obviously, being knocked out is not what most users want during the day, so this makes sense. The orange flavor is somewhat less vile than the Nyquil red and green "flavors" but not exactly gourmet fare. DayQuil is also missing the same ingredient missing in NyQuil- a product like guaifenesin-the drug in plain Robitussin- to thin secretions. So much for just one medicine.

Thick secretions in the nose, throat and respiratory passages add greatly to the miseries of a cold or flu. Swallowing and breathing are much harder, and cough is likely to be tight and harsh. If secretions are thick, drink loads of liquids and use a thinning medicine.

What DayQuil doeshave are drugs to decongest you(pseudoephedrine), acetaminophen (generic for Tylenol) to ease fever and aches and pains,and a cough suppressant (dextromethorphan). All are good, effective drugs.The problem is the fixed dose. If the amount of decongestant is fine, but you need more acetaminophen, you have to add a separate dose or take more than you want of the mixture.(Note-don't exceed recommended doses except by physician order!) Since the only argument for this mixture is convenience, the advantage of using the stuff begins to vanish.

Pseudoephedrine is not recommended for those with heart disease or high blood pressure-check with a doctor if you have these or any other medical condition. Don't mix over-the-counter medicines with prescription medicines or other over-the counter medicines with asking for medical advice. And be careful to stay within the total doage recommendations also-no more than 4 doses a day of the DayQuil and/or NyQuil- if you use both that 4 doses total-say 3 doses of DayQuil and 1 of NyQuil. And label recommendations limit the days used from 5 total for kids to7 for adults.

Dosage size is 2 tablespoons for adults per dose-that's one ounce. A $4 bottle is only 4 doses! Colds last an average of 7 to 10 days-the math is not very encouraging. Try to find cheaper generic equivalents to save-compare ingredients carefully. I've even found these clones in dollar stores.Buyenough for several days to save trips for more, and consider keeping some on hand for colds that appear at inconvenient hours. (Watch expiration dates,though!)

I can recommend NyQuil because the rest is so helpful, even lacking guaifenesin, that the convenience can somewhat justify the fixed recipe and cost. But Dayquil doesn't do much to enhance relief or give more convenience. Better to slug down some Robitussin DM (or generic), and take Tylenol and Sudafed in correct doses. You can customize your care at far less cost,especially using generic brands.

One final note- another decongestant, PPA, once found in many cold products is being withdrawn do to concerns about adverse side effects. Purge your medicine cabinets of anything containing this drug. And never mix drugs with alcohol!

Stay warm and dry and hopefully well. But if the sniffly-sneezy miseries hit, you can do much better than DayQuil.


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