Does Mucinex Help Nasal Congestion?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how Mucinex (guaifenesin) can help to relieve nasal congestion.

Feb 20, 2018

Josh asked

Will Mucinex (gauifenesin) help with nasal congestion?


Mucinex (guaifenesin) is an expectorant used to loosen mucus and make a cough more productive.  While this medication may help a little in thinning the secretions adding to the nasal congestion, it will not give the most relief.  In order to get the most relief from nasal congestion and sinus pressure, Mucinex D (guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine) will need to be taken.  This product has the expectorant guaifenesin in it, but also adds pseudoephedrine, which is a nasal decongestant that works on nasal congestion and sinus pressure. 

Mucinex D For Nasal Congestion

The guaifenesin component of Mucinex D generally is well tolerated and causes few side effects.  The most common side effects of guaifenesin are dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.  The pseudoephedrine component of Mucinex D can cause some cardiovascular and central nervous system (CNS) side effects that can be problematic for certain patient populations.  

These side effects of pseudoephedrine include elevated blood pressure, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), heart palpitation, heart arrhythmias, restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, tremors, fear or hallucinations.  For these reasons, the following patient populations need to check with their doctor or primary care giver before taking this medication: patients with cardiovascular disease including hypertension and ischemic heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma/increase intraocular pressure, prostate disease, renal impairment, seizure disorder or thyroid disease.    

Where To Find Mucinex D

It should also be noted that Mucinex D will be found behind the pharmacy counter due to the The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. This law limits the amounts of pseudoephedrine that can be sold monthly, requires the product not have direct consumer access before being sold and has logbook requirements that the seller must maintain. 


While Mucinex (guaifenesin) will work on thinning mucus secretions, it will not give the most relief for nasal congestion.  A better product for nasal congestion is Mucinex D (guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine). 

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