Can Mucinex Cause Diarrhea

Can Mucinex Cause Diarrhea? Yes! But Don’t Worry

How are you feeling lately? Are you ill? Do you have a cough and require medications? Do you have the flu or allergies?

If the flu season has taken a toll on you, or your allergy started to attack, then there is a chance that you are prescribed with Mucinex. Oh no! Did you feel your tummy rumbling? Can Mucinex cause diarrhea? The answer is yes, but not all the time. 

You might feel stuffy with this sensation that something is latching in your throat, well, that can be mucus. If it stays too long in your throat, it can gather bacteria and then lead to infection. If you tried natural remedies like citrus drinks but it doesn’t help, you might consider taking an expectorant, like Mucinex. What is Mucinex and what is in it anyway?

The Expectorant: Mucinex

Okay, that sounds like a nickname for an action star, but not really.

Mucinex is an expectorant with the generic name of guaifenesin. Being an expectorant, it loosens the congestion in the chest as well as the throat. It also thins out the mucus in the throat. This process makes it easier for the cough or phlegm to go out of the mouth. 

This medicine is commonly used by patients with common cold, infections, or allergies as prescribed by their physician. It is usually combined with other over-the-counter combination medications for coughs and colds. 

Mucinex is available in either tablet or liquid form. Children above four years old to 12 years old can take the liquid Mucinex or Mucinex Mini-Melts. These Mini-melts are like candies sprinkled on the child’s tongue. Patients above 12 years old can take Mucinex tablets, or depending upon the discretion of their physician. Always read the package or the medicine label before drinking the medicine. 

It is unknown whether guaifenesin, the active compound in Mucinex, can affect the breastmilk quality of a nursing mother. Another unknown factor about this drug is if it can affect an unborn baby.

Always ask your doctor for medical advice before using this medicine if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or wanting to give it to a child of tender age.

The Side Effects

The side-effect of a certain medication varies depending on the health of the person. Generally, guaifenesin is well-tolerated by the body. Some people experience mild side effects, while others experience no side effects at all!

This type of expectorant may have a side effect on three particular systems of the body:

  • digestive system
  • nervous system
  • integumentary system or the skin

Dermatologic side effect

It is rare but Mucinex may cause skin rashes or hives to some people. 

The nervous system side effect

Some effects of this medicine include dizziness, drowsiness, and headache.

Can Mucinex cause diarrhea? 

Some side effects of Mucinex involve upsetting the stomach and vomiting. This usually happens when more than the recommended dose is consumed by the patient. Other digestive issues also involved stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and yes, diarrhea.

Some of the side effects of guaifenesin may go away gradually during treatment. Why? Because the body adapts to the effects of the medicine. Usually, these side effects are mild but if more than one side effect happens, it’s better to consult a professional about it.

Let’s Talk About Diarrhea

To begin, here are some questions that you can answer:

  • Does your stomach rumble?
  • Did you visit the toilet to poop more than three times now?
  • Is your stool soft, loose and watery?

If you answered yes to at least two of those, then you have diarrhea. There are two types of diarrhea depending on the duration of the disease. It can be acute, which lasts for only one to two days, or chronic. Chronic diarrhea lasts for at least four weeks and this is a serious problem.

Some usual causes of diarrhea include: 

  • A bacterial or viral cause
  • Presence of parasites in food or water
  • Overstimulation of the gut from caffeine
  • Medicines like antibiotics, antacids or magnesium-based medicines
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Pre-existing gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Some words of caution when taking Mucinex

Drink only the recommended dosage by your physician. If you started to feel better after a couple of days, then you can stop taking your medicine.

Some people are hypersensitive to this drug, even to the point where there is a report on an anaphylactic reaction to it. That’s why it is important that you tell your doctor about your medical conditions, medicines that you use and if you have any allergic reactions to any drug.

Does your stomach get upset whenever you drink your medicine? Maybe you should take it with food. Some bread or light snacks will do the trick.

Now, it is definitely intriguing to see what’s inside a capsule, right? Well, when taking your medicine, don’t crush, break, chew or force open a tablet or capsule. It could be a delayed-release, controlled-release or extended-release for a reason.

The Mucinex Takeaway

With that being said, diarrhea usually causes dehydration. Drinking lots of fluids like water and juices are also helpful both for diarrhea and for boosting the immune system. Not only is this habit helpful for the gut and body, but it can also help lubricate the throat for easier decongestion.

Remember to follow the dose indicated in the packaging of the medicine so that serious side effects can be avoided. There is always this chance that by drinking more than recommended, you are putting your kidneys at risk of kidney stones.

Can Mucinex cause diarrhea? Well, the side effects of Mucinex are mild even if there is a chance that you may get an upset stomach or diarrhea from this. Always consult with your doctor before trying to self medicate. Although, in the rare case that you get diarrhea, there are different foods that you can turn to in order to alleviate the symptoms.

Do you have a go-to mix of fruits and juices when you have a cold? 

Nicole Castaneda - RND

Nicole is a professional Nutritionist-Dietitian who advocates for food variation, moderation and the effect of food choices on the body. She loves to write light and easy to understand articles about food and gut health.

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