Robitussin vs Mucinex Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, you want to know if the medicine you take will harm your baby. If a cold or flu hits, you may wonder whether it’s safe to take Robitussin and Mucinex during pregnancy. You can also look up information on Robitussin and Mucinex breastfeeding safety in our article on cough syrup while nursing.

Is it safe to take Robitussin and Mucinex?

You may not think that Robitussin and Mucinex are harmful to your unborn child, but it’s always best to check with a doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. Your doctor will want to make sure that what you’re planning on taking is safe for both you and your baby.

It’s important to note that some medications can be harmful during pregnancy (especially those used for pain relief), so it’s best to avoid them unless absolutely necessary. In most cases, these drugs are only prescribed when there are no other options available—and even then the dosage is often lower than normal in order to minimize risk of side effects.

Be on the lookout for ingredients like acetaminophen or ibuprofen; if either of these show up on an ingredient list, consult your doctor before taking any medication containing them until after giving birth.

Is Robitussin safe to take while I’m pregnant?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, Robitussin is safe to take while pregnant. It’s not recommended that you take children’s Robitussin if you are pregnant, since it contains more ingredients than adult strength formulas.

Mucinex is also safe to take while pregnant, although there is no evidence that it will help with morning sickness or other symptoms during pregnancy.

If you are concerned about taking any medication while pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor first before using any products containing dextromethorphan (Robitussin) or guaifenesin (Mucinex).

What are the side effects of Robitussin?

Robitussin is a drug that helps to clear up the mucus in your lungs. Robitussin also helps with cough and chest congestion, but it does not cure coughs caused by colds or other infections.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Slow heart rate

Are Mucinex and Robitussin similar?

Robitussin and Mucinex are both expectorants, meaning they help loosen mucus and make it easier to cough up. Both can be used to treat coughs and congestion in adults, although Robitussin also comes in a variety of children’s formulas.

Both Robitussin (Robitussin DM) and Mucinex (Mucinex Fast-Max Severe Congestion & Cough Liquid Caplets) contain the active ingredient guaifenesin, which helps thin the mucus that clogs your lungs when you have a cold or other respiratory infection. They’re both safe for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers to take—but how do you know which one is right for you?

When should I see a doctor?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Confusion (or other unusual mental status)
  • Unusual weakness or fatigue (severe)
  • Severe vomiting and/or diarrhea (severe)

How does Robitussin work to treat colds?

Robitussin works by suppressing certain enzymes in the body, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and clear up congestion.

As for mucinex, it works by thinning mucus so you can cough it up easier. Mucinex also acts as an expectorant, which means that it breaks up phlegm and makes it easier to cough up.

What is the difference between Mucinex and Mucinex DM?

Mucinex DM is a drug containing the active ingredient guaifenesin. It has three times the amount of guaifenesin as Mucinex, and this makes it less likely to be habit-forming. The FDA advises against using Mucinex DM while pregnant because it can cause birth defects. However, if you’re suffering from severe congestion and need relief now, your doctor may prescribe this medication for temporary use until you give birth. This medication should not be used by patients with asthma or bronchitis because it contains an expectorant that can trigger a cough reflex when inhaled.

What is the difference between DayQuil and NyQuil?

While both DayQuil and NyQuil contain the same active ingredient (acetaminophen), DayQuil also contains dextromethorphan. The difference between these two ingredients can be a big one for those who use the medicines to treat colds or coughs. Dextromethorphan is known as a cough suppressant, meaning it can lessen your need to cough during an illness. Acetaminophen does not have this effect on you but does have some other benefits that make it worth choosing over dextromethorphan if you’re looking for an alternative medication.

You may wonder why there are two versions of Robitussin available at all, given that they both contain acetaminophen; however, there are significant differences between them that make them useful in different situations:

  • NyQuil is more mild than DayQuil
  • NyQuil helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer

Does Mucinex DM contain alcohol?

Mucinex DM does not contain alcohol, but it does contain a small amount of alcohol. Other Mucinex products do contain alcohol.

There are no known side effects to the baby if you take Mucinex during pregnancy. You can safely take the medication in all stages of your pregnancy, including right before delivery (in labor). It’s okay to give this medicine to children who are 1 year old or older. There is no difference between taking this medicine while pregnant and taking it when you’re not pregnant.

Mucinex is safe for both adults and children over age 1, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

There are safe options for easing your cold symptoms during pregnancy.

If you’re suffering from a cold, there are safe options for easing your symptoms. Mucinex DM is an expectorant that helps loosen mucus and thin secretions in the respiratory tract. It doesn’t contain any ingredients that have been associated with birth defects or miscarriage when used during pregnancy.

Mucinex DM is also safe to take while breastfeeding since it contains only dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DM DH), which isn’t passed through breast milk. Robitussin is another expectorant that may help relieve congestion and coughing caused by the common cold and flu. Like Mucinex DM, Robitussin does not contain any ingredients known to cause birth defects or miscarriages when taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding.*

If you’ve had previous experiences with these medications while pregnant/nursing before this article was written, please let us know so we can update our info on them! We appreciate all information provided by our readers–thank you in advance!


If you’re looking for a safe, effective way to ease your cold symptoms while pregnant, Robitussin and Mucinex are great options. They’re both proven to be safe and effective in treating colds during pregnancy, so you don’t have to worry about putting your baby at risk by taking them. Robitussin can also relieve coughs and minor aches, which makes it a more versatile option for easing all of your symptoms. And since both of these medications come in liquid form, they’re easy to take on an empty stomach without upsetting it too much.

What Are Safe Cough Medicines to Take While Pregnant?

Ask your doctor before taking any cough remedies during your first trimester. Cough medicines and cough drops are generally regarded as safe during the second and third trimesters and include those containing dextromethorphan. Brand names are:

  • Mucinex
  • Robitussin
  • Vicks 44

Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant?

The active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub are menthol and camphor oils used as a cough suppressant. Vick 44 is a cough syrup that contains dextromethorphan. These medications have been deemed safe for use during pregnancy.

To get more information about which medications you should take while pregnant, make an appointment today Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn in Englewood and Kettering, OH. We offer specialized, compassionate care combined with cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology.


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How Long Does it Take For Mucinex to Start Working

  1. Patient Tips
  2. guaifenesin


Guaifenesin: 7 things you should know

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Oct 1, 2021.

1. How it works

  • Guaifenesin is an expectorant that increases the volume and reduces the viscosity (stickiness) of respiratory tract secretions. This makes coughing out these secretions easier.
  • Guaifenesin belongs to the class of medicines known as cough expectorants.

2. Upsides

  • Guaifenesin is used as an expectorant (a substance that promotes mucus secretion in the airways).
  • Usually used in combination with other ingredients.
  • Use to relieve chest congestion that occurs as a result of a cold, the flu, or allergies.
  • Makes a cough more productive. Guaifenesin will not stop coughing; however, coughing is important as it is the body’s way to remove excess mucus.
  • Guaifenesin is generally well tolerated.

3. Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Nausea and vomiting are the most commonly reported side effects; constipation, dizziness, headache, and a rash are reported rarely. Side effects are generally mild at low dosages.
  • Do not use in children younger than 4.
  • There are no controlled or adequate studies investigating the use of guaifenesin in pregnant women. Animal studies have not been conducted. Only use if the benefits outweigh the risks. It is not known whether guaifenesin is excreted in human milk. Exercise caution and consider discontinuing nursing or discontinuing the drug.

Note: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. View complete list of side effects

4. Bottom Line

Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps thin and remove mucus from the airways. It is generally well tolerated.

5. Tips

  • Guaifenesin does not need to be taken with food; however, it can be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Take exactly as directed by your doctor or on the label. Do not increase the dosage or take for longer than is recommended. Use a properly calibrated measuring spoon to measure liquid guaifenesin dosages.
  • Do not open, crush, break, or chew guaifenesin delayed-release capsules or tablets because this may cause too much of the drug to be released at once.
  • Drink extra fluids while you are taking guaifenesin to help loosen congestion and lubricate the throat.
  • Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous tasks until you know how guaifenesin affects you.
  • Protect guaifenesin liquid from light.
  • If you are pregnant, intending to become pregnant, or breastfeeding then talk to your doctor before taking do not take guaifenesin.

6. Response and effectiveness

  • Some effects of guaifenesin should be noticed within 30 minutes of taking it orally; however, up to two days of regular dosing may be needed before the full effects are seen.
  • Liquid guaifenesin lasts for approximately four to six hours. Delayed-release capsules or tablets last for up to 12 hours.

7. Interactions

  • Guaifenesin has no known drug interactions.

Best Sinus and Chest Congestion Medicine

Things to Know About Chest Congestion

Chest congestion may cause you to cough or feel uncomfortable, but these remedies can help.

Chest congestion may cause you to cough or feel uncomfortable, but these remedies can help.

Have you ever had a stuffy nose? It happens when the tissues and blood vessels in and around your nose get swollen with fluid and mucus. That makes your nose feel clogged. The same thing happens in your chest when it fills with phlegm.

Some mucus in your airways is a good thing. You need it to protect and moisturize your tissues. But congestion means there’s too much mucus in your body. It builds up when you have a cold, irritated sinuses, or allergies, or when you breathe in smoke or pollutants.

Long-term conditions such as cystic fibrosischronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma can also cause mucus buildup. Here is information you can use to help you deal with it.

Remedies for Clearing Mucus from Your Chest

Most of the time, you don’t need a prescription to take care of congestion. Here are a few things that can help you clear your chest:

  • Humidifiers: These small appliances fill the air with water vapor and moisturize your nose and throat. That helps combat the dry air that could be causing the problem. Your body makes thicker mucus (and more of it) to soothe dryness. When humidifiers moisturize your nose and throat, your body won’t create as much mucus.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water when you’re congested. It’ll help loosen the mucus. If you’re dehydrated, the mucus will become dehydrated too. That makes it thicker and harder to get out of your body. So avoid drinks like alcohol, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks.
  • Exercise: Walking quickly, biking, or jogging can help loosen the buildup in your chest. That will make it easier to cough up. But, since congestion usually comes with sickness, your body also needs to rest to get better. So, don’t wear yourself out. If you have a condition that causes you to make more mucus when you exercise, such as exercise-induced asthma, you may want to try a different remedy or technique.
  • Expectorants: These medications thin mucus, which can help you get it out of your system. Guaifenesin is the only over-the-counter expectorant. It has the same effect as drinking more liquids. You’ll find it in brands like Mucinex and Robitussin.
  • Vapor rubs: These don’t cure the problem. But, they can help soothe the symptoms of congestion. Vicks VapoRub, perhaps the best-known one, combines cough suppressants and pain relievers. The active ingredients are camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. You rub it on your throat and chest to let the vapor reach your nose and mouth.
  • Decongestants: These medications narrow your blood vessels. This helps open airways. When air can pass through more easily, mucus dries up. The two most common decongestant ingredients are pseudoephedrine (found in Sudafed) and phenylephrine. You may want to take decongestants in the morning. They can raise your blood pressure and heart rate. They may also keep you awake.
  • Essential oils: People use essential oils to help treat a range of illnesses, including sinus infections and chest colds. Limited research shows they may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. So, if you breathe in the vapors of the oils, it may help drain your sinuses.

To make your own vapor rub, dilute an essential oil in water or another oil and put the mixture directly onto your skin. A few essential oils that may help congestion include:

  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Frankincense
  • Eucalyptus

Here’s how to mix it:

  • Infants: 1 drop of essential oil with 4 teaspoons water or carrier oil
  • Toddlers: 1 drop of essential oil with 2 teaspoons water or carrier oil
  • Older children and adults: 1 drop of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of water or carrier oil.

Always test the mixture on a small part of your skin to check for irritation.

You can also add drops to a diffuser or steaming water and breathe in the scent. Follow the directions that come with the diffuser.

But first, and always, check with your doctor before using any essential oils. Some are not safe to use on or around children. Store all essential oils and preparations in childproof containers out of reach. Just a tiny amount of essential oil can be poisonous if you or a child swallows it. Researchers have also found that some essential oils can disrupt the hormones in the body. They don’t know how this might affect children or adults. Allergic reactions are also possible.

Special Coughing Techniques

There are a couple of airway clearance methods you can try to clear your chest. These are especially helpful for everyday buildup. Your doctor may recommend them and demonstrate them for you.

  • Deep cough: To deep cough, you’ll take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then use your abs to push out the air. But try not to hack or clear your throat.
  • Huff cough: If the deep cough doesn’t help, you may want to try a huff cough. Take a deep breath through your nose, then use your abs to breathe out of your mouth in three short huffs. This puts air behind the mucus to pull it away from the lung wall. It should be easier to cough up after a few repetitions.

Is Congestion Serious?

Most of the time, congestion is just uncomfortable. It may cause a cough or a sore throat. But, if it comes with feverweight l

Can You Take Mucinex and Robitussin Together While Pregnant

Table of Contents

Pregnancy often comes with its own set of discomforts, like nauseaheadaches, or fatigue. It can be hard to deal with a stuffy nose or a hacking cough on top of your pregnancy side effects.

However, if you’re expecting, you can’t always take the same medicines you normally count on to get you feeling back to your old self. If you are suffering from congestion and a productive cough, you may wonder whether Mucinex is safe for you to take.

Turns out it’s best to leave the Mucinex in the medecine cabinet until after you give birth. At least for now, we don’t know enough about how this medication might affect an unborn baby.

What Is Mucinex?

Mucinex (guaifenesin) is over-the-counter cough medicine. It works by thinning out mucus, making it easier to clear from the nasal passages, throat, and lungs.1 “It loosens and thins mucous in
the lungs, enabling coughing up the mucous and helping to clear airways, [which makes] breathing easier,” says Alan Lindemann, MD, an obstetrician and maternal mortality expert.

If you have a hacking cough, however, you should use another type of medicine. “Mucinex is used for a cough that is productive of mucus, not used for a dry cough,” explains Megan Gray, MD, an OBGYN with Orlando Health Physician Associates.

Some types of Mucinex also include dextromethorphan, a cough medicine that suppresses your brain’s cough reflex.2

 Can I Take Benadryl While Pregnant?

Is It Safe to Take Mucinex During Pregnancy?

Not enough research has been done to determine whether Mucinex is safe to take while pregnant. Some studies indicate that Mucinex may be dangerous to take during the first trimester.3 Since we don’t know enough about how Mucinex might affect a developing fetus during the latter two trimesters, abstaining from this medicine is the safest choice.

“It is not yet known if Mucinex is safe to use in pregnancy,” says Dr. Lindemann. “Therefore, I recommend not using it, especially during the first trimester. In any case, ask your doctor or midwife before taking any form of Mucinex.”

Mucinex is considered a category C pregnancy drug by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), which means that it should be avoided due to insufficient research studies.4 In rare cases, your health care provider may decide that the benefits of Mucinex outweigh the risks of taking it during pregnancy, and allow you to take it during the second and third trimesters.3

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about taking Mucinex while pregnant.

What If I Take Mucinex Before Realizing I’m Pregnant?

Try not to worry if you took Mucinex before you realized you were pregnant. You didn’t know you were pregnant, so it’s not your fault. Just stop taking it and inform a healthcare provider, advises Dr. Lindemann.

Rest assured that if you took a pregnancy test around the time of your missed period, it’s unlikely that Mucinex had any effect at all on your unborn baby. The umbilical cord, which transports substances you ingest to your baby, doesn’t begin to form until five weeks gestation, and you are about four weeks along if around the time of your missed period.5

 Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Pregnant?

Risks of Mucinex While Pregnant

There are not enough research studies done on Mucinex during pregnancy to say for sure what the risks are. Because of the lack of information available to us, there may be risks that no one knows about yet.4

Some studies found a possible link between Mucinex in the first trimester and birth defects, but the study is not considered comprehensive enough to say for sure whether Mucinex causes birth defects.3

 Can I Take Advil While Pregnant?

When Can I Resume Taking Mucinex?

It is safe to start taking Mucinex again after you give birth. Once the umbilical cord is cut you are no longer sharing a bloodline with your baby. If you are breastfeeding, however, you may want to continue to hold off on taking Mucinex until after your baby is weaned or at least getting most of their nutrition from other sources.

Just as with pregnancy, there is limited data on the use of Mucinex in breastfeeding. Talk with a healthcare provider about whether you can take this medicine or whether you should stick to safer options. “In general, this medication should be used only if necessary and for the shortest duration and lowest dose necessary to manage symptoms,” explains Dr. Gray.

 Can I Take Tylenol While Breastfeeding?

Pregnancy Safe Alternatives

If you suffer from a productive cough while you are pregnant, it is best to leave the Mucinex on the shelf. However, there are a few pregnancy-safe ways to combat coughs when you have a baby on the way.


Dextromethorphan is an over-the-counter cough medicine that is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy.6 “This medication suppresses a cough by affecting signals in the brain that trigger a cough,” explains Dr. Gray.

Safety Note

Always check the ingredients when selecting a cough medicine while pregnant. Brand names often make several formulas, some of which include safe ingredients and some which need to be avoided. Some medicines contain both dextromethorphan and guaifenesin, and would not be considered OK during pregnancy.


Honey is proven to be an effective cough suppressant, and it is even more effective than dextromethorphan.7 Eat it by the spoonful, spread it on toast, or mix it up into warm water or tea to find relief.

Warm Water

Mucinex works by thinning mucus so it becomes easier to clear it from the nasal passages. Warm water has a similar effect.8 Not only is water completely fine during pregnancy, but staying hydrated is also beneficial and important when you have a baby on the way.9

When trying to find relief from a cough using warm water, drink it continually until your cough is completely gone.8 To maximize effectiveness, drink hot water along with taking dextromethorphan or eating honey.

A Word From Verywell

Mucinex is not considered safe to take while pregnant because not enough research has been done on how it could affect a developing fetus.4 Minimal research indicates that taking Mucinex in the first trimester of pregnancy might be linked to birth defects. You should abstain from taking Mucinex in the first trimester.10

In the majority of cases, Mucinex should be avoided throughout the entire pregnancy. In rare cases, the benefits may outweigh the risks.10 Always consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about taking Mucinex while pregnant.

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