DayQuil Vs. DayQuil Severe: What Is The Difference?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the difference between DayQuil and DayQuil Severe.

DayQuil Vs. DayQuil Severe: What Is The Difference?
May 20, 2018

Idris asked

What’s the difference between DayQuil and DayQuil severe?

Answer

Liquid Medicine PourDayQuil Cold and Flu and DayQuil Severe Cold and Flu are both medications used to treat the symptoms associated with a cold or flu. The difference is in the ingredients each product contains and what symptoms those ingredients will work on. Below is information on each product and what symptoms each product will help treat.

DayQuil Cold and Flu Relief contains the following drugs:

  • Acetaminophen: Pain Reliever and Fever Reducer
  • Dextromethorphan: Cough suppressant used to help control a cough
  • Phenylephrine: Nasal decongestant used to help with sinus pressure and congestion

DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu Relief contain the following drugs:

  • Acetaminophen: Pain Reliever and Fever Reducer
  • Dextromethorphan: Cough suppressant used to help control a cough
  • Phenylephrine: Nasal decongestant used to help with sinus pressure and congestion
  • Guaifenesin: Expectorant used to loosen mucus and make a cough more productive

The main difference between the two products is that DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu Relief contains Guaifenesin while DayQuil Cold and Flu Relief does not. Guaifenesin can be useful for coughs that have a lot of mucus associated with them. It can help thin that mucus and make it easier to cough up. The next section contains some general information on each drug that is contained in these two multi-drug products.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. It does not work on inflammation. When taking a multi-drug product, it is important to note if the product contains acetaminophen and not to exceed the daily recommended maximum. Acetaminophen has been associated with acute liver failure. Doses should not exceed 4 grams daily in adults. Often these multi-drug products will contain a pain reliever.

Dextromethorphan

Dextromethorphan Is a cough suppressant used to help control a cough. It is usually a well tolerated medication. The most common side effects that have been reported are drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and stomach upset.

Phenylephrine

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that helps relieve nasal and sinus congestion. Patients with high blood pressure should check with their doctor or other health care provider before taking. It can increase blood pressure and cause heart stimulation including palpitations, fast heart beat and arrhythmias. Other possible side effects include insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, headache and upset stomach.

Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin Is an expectorant used to loosen mucus and make a cough more productive. The most common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Summary

Both DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu Relief and DayQuil Cold and Flu Relief are used to treat symptoms associated with a cold or flu. They will both work on pain, fever, bothersome cough and nasal congestion. DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu Relief will also help thin mucus secretions.

It is always a good idea to only take medication that is needed. Pharmacists are excellent resources when there might be confusion on what product is most appropriate for your symptoms.

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