Common brand names:
This combination medication is used to temporarily treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses (such as sinusitis, bronchitis). Decongestants help relieve stuffy nose, sinus, and ear congestion symptoms. Acetaminophen (APAP) is a non-aspirin pain reliever and fever reducer. Antihistamines help relieve watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing.
Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.
These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).
How to Use This Medication
See also Warning section.
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read and follow all directions on the package label. If your doctor has prescribed this medication for you, take as directed by your doctor. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food or as directed by your doctor. If stomach upset occurs, it may help to take this medication with food or milk. Drink plenty of fluids when you use this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The fluid will help loosen the mucus in your lungs.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.
If you are taking the extended-release capsules, swallow them whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
If you are taking the chewable form of this medication, chew it thoroughly before swallowing.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than directed. Do not give children medicines labeled only for adults.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists for more than 1 week, if it worsens, or if it occurs with rash, persistent headache, or fever lasting more than 3 days. These may be symptoms of a serious medical problem and should be checked by a doctor. Depending on the symptoms being treated, you may need to contact your doctor earlier than 1 week, if they persist or worsen. Check your specific package label for when to contact your doctor.
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Information expires June 2017.