Can You Take Cheratussin AC With Xanax (Alprazolam)

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not you can use Cheratussin AC with Xanax (alprazolam).

Jan 26, 2018

Lucy asked

I take 20 mg of fluoxetine, levothyroxine snd alprazolam. Have been prescribed guiafennesen AC for Bronchitis. Will this interfer with my Meds?


Cheratussin AC (also known as Robitussin AC) is a combination ingredient cough syrup that contains codeine and guaifenesin. It is typically prescribed to control cough for those suffering from bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. As Cheratussin AC contains codeine, a CNS (central nervous system depressant), it is not recommended to take with other CNS depressants like Xanax (alprazolam).

Cheratussin AC - Alprazolam Interaction

The use of codeine (from Cheratussin AC) and alprazolam together has the potential to cause additive side effects including:

  • Profound sedation
  • CNS depression
  • Respiratory depression
  • Low blood pressure

While the small amount of codeine contained in Cheratussin AC most likely won't cause serious effects (such as respiratory depression) when used with alprazolam, their use together is nevertheless not recommended. If they must be used together, it is important to use the lowest effective dose of Cheratussin AC and limit the duration of therapy as necessary.

The two drugs can be used in the same day if they are separated from one other by an appropriate amount of time. The effects of Cheratussin AC generally last 4 to 6 hours, while the effects of alprazolam can last between 8 to 12 hours. If necessary, try to separate doses as far apart as possible.


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