What Are the Signs of a Guaifenesin Overdose?

Guaifenesin is commonly used to relieve chest congestion by making mucus thinner.
A guaifenesin overdose can cause dizziness and clammy skin.
Elderly people experiencing headaches associated with a possible guaifenesin and codeine overdose should seek medical attention immediately.
Signs of a guaifenesin overdose may include difficulty breathing.
Vomiting may be a sign of a guaifenesin overdose.
A guaifenesin cough syrup overdose may actually be a sign of alcohol poisoning due to the alcohol content in the syrup.
Intravenous fluids may be given to someone experiencing a guaifenesin overdose.
Patients who overdose on guaifenesin that is combined with alcohol, such as in cough syrup, may require CPR.
A patient may need immediate medical help for a guaifenesin overdose if they experience dizziness, confusion, and headache.
If signs of an overdose go untreated in a patient, abdominal pain may occur.
Signs of a guaifenesin overdose may include drowsiness.
Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Guaifenesin is a type of expectorant, which means its main function is to relieve congestion in the chest by making the mucus thinner. This drug is not particularly dangerous on its own, even in high doses, with the main symptom of a guaifenesin overdose being vomiting. This means most people in good general health will not have long-term effects from a guaifenesin overdose, though they should still call their doctor or poison control office to be treated. This drug, however, is often combined with other substances, including codeine, alcohol and acetaminophen, all of which have harmful effects when patients overdose. This means patients should get medical help if they feel drowsy or dizzy, have a headache or become confused, because otherwise they may develop more serious side effects that include seizures and difficulty breathing.


This medication on its own is not known for being dangerous for healthy people, although patients are still advised to adhere to the correct dosage. The main symptom of a guaifenesin overdose is vomiting, because the body will try to get rid of this medication when too much is taken at once. Patients should call their doctor to get advice if this occurs, because they may be told to wait it out as the body gets rid of the excess or to see a medical professional so they can stay hydrated via intravenous fluids. Children and the elderly tend to get dehydrated easier than most people, so they will likely be told to see a doctor to get extra fluids as a precaution.

Though guaifenesin itself is not particularly harmful, it is often mixed with other substances that can cause life-threatening side effects in high doses. For example, guaifenesin is frequently combined with alcohol to form cough syrup, in which case patients may get alcohol poisoning when they overdose. Symptoms include confusion, slow or irregular breathing and vomiting. Death may occur when patients do not seek medical help, which is why it is important to call a doctor or poison control center when an overdose is suspected.

Another drug that is often combined with guaifenesin is acetaminophen, because these two substances can work together to treat the chest congestion, fever and headaches caused by the flu and common cold. Patients who overdose on this type of medicine may first suffer from abdominal pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. They also may feel confused, sweaty and weak. If these signs of acetaminophen and guaifenesin overdose go untreated, patients can develop upper abdominal pain, dark urine and yellow skin.

Finally, guaifenesin may be combined with codeine to treat the nasal congestion and cough caused by allergies or the common cold. The most typical signs of overdose include fatigue, headaches and dry mouth. Many patients also notice clammy skin, vomiting and dizziness. It may become difficult to breathe, and some patients lose consciousness or have seizures, making it crucial to seek medical attention after a codeine and guaifenesin overdose.


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Post 1

I've been taking mucinex fast max multi symptom for the last couple of days and now I've noticed a slight pink color in my urine; I'm assuming its because the pills are red. Is this common? If it happens again, of course, I will be seen by a doctor.

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