Mucinex vs Delsym – Which Is The Better Cough Medicine?

Which is better Delsym or Mucinex?


Mucinex is the brand name of guaifenesin, an expectorant drug that reduces the viscosity of secretions in the bronchi and trachea, making it notably easier to cough out through the mouth.

It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1952. In the present day, it is produced by Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational company with headquarters in Slough, England.


It is an expectorant drug, sold OTC, which assists in the bringing up of phlegm from the airways in respiratory tract infections.

This drug is not used for long-term breathing problems (like – emphysema or chronic bronchitis) or an ongoing cough from smoking tobacco unless directed by your healthcare provider.


The recommended dose is 600 to 1200 milligrams every 12h hours. It may be taken with or without food. Do not take more than 2400 mg in 24 hours.

The tablets should not be chewed, crushed, or broken.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Guaifenesin

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • itchy rash;
  • vomiting;
  • throat irritation;
  • respiratory tract inflammation;
  • stomach pain;
  • muscle, bone, or joint pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • hypersensitivity reaction.

Drug Interactions

Do not take this medicine at the same time as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. It is recommended to wait at least 14 days after stopping treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor before using this drug.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no conclusive studies regarding its safe use during pregnancy, therefore, stay on the safe side and avoid it if you are pregnant.


Alcohol should be avoided while you take this medication. More importantly, it can impair your reaction and thinking; thus, be extra careful if you are driving or operating heavy machines while using this medicine.


It is a brand of cough medicine which is produced by Reckitt Benckiser. It is different from most cough drugs because the active ingredient is time-released.

This means that it allows the medicine to suppress the cough reflex for a longer period of time.

The main substance of this brand drug is called dextromethorphan, a medicine that belongs to a group of drugs called antitussives.

In 1958, the FDA first approved dextromethorphan as an OTC medicine, and it was developed by U.S. Navy and the CIA as a non-addictive substitute for codeine.

Note – it will not treat a cough that is caused by asthma or smoking.


It is used for temporary relief of coughs without phlegm which is caused by certain infections of the air passages, like – common cold and sinusitis.


Use this drug precisely as it has been prescribed by your healthcare provider or as directed on the label.

The usual dose for children 12 years of age and older and adults is 10 mL every 12 hours. Do not to exceed 20 mL in 24 hours. Also, do not use the medicine for longer than recommended.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Dextromethorphan

Common side effects may include:

  • restlessness;
  • vomiting;
  • nervousness;
  • drowsiness;
  • constipation;
  • nausea;
  • diarrhea;
  • dizziness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • skin rash;
  • respiratory depression;
  • blackouts;
  • high blood pressure;
  • hallucinations;
  • double vision;
  • vomiting.

Do not use this medicine if you are also taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (certain medicines for psychiatric, depression, or emotional conditions) or for 14 days after stopping the monoamine oxidase inhibitor.

Studies in lactating women suggest that this drug has minimal risk to the baby.

If you are allergic to any medicines similar to this one or any foods, tell your healthcare professional about the allergy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat;
  • rash;
  • wheezing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • itching;
  • hives.

Dextromethorphan is chemically related to morphine (an opioid analgesic found in the alkaloids of the latex of the poppy plant) and other opioids; however, it does not have the addictive effects of other opioids.

Nevertheless, despite the lack of addictive attributes, dextromethorphan may be abused.

When it is used recreationally, it is known to create:

  • visual hallucinations;
  • altered time perception;
  • a heightened sense of perceptual awareness.

Moreover, people abusing this drug tend to display lethargy, hyper-excitability, ataxia (a lack of coordination of voluntary movements), sweating, slurred speech, and high blood pressure.

Mucinex vs Delsym – Which Is The Better Cough Medicine?

Mucinex is a useful drug for loosening congestion in the throat and chest, however, it doesn’t decrease coughing.

On the other hand, Delsym is a good medicine for treating a dry cough. Moreover, it is not recommended to take them together.

Best Natural Cough Remedies:

#1 Peppermint

Menthol in this medicinal herb soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, hence, helping to break down mucus.

#2 Lemon

Its properties reduce inflammation as well as it provides a dose of infection-fighting vitamin C.

#3 Garlic

Eating garlic cloves is the simplest method to get rid of a cough, most likely due to its content of allium.

#4 Ginger

The potent anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help relieve a sore throat and airway inflammation, whether it is from infections or allergens. For this, you just need to take a few drops at a time, about 5 grams per day.

#5 Turmeric & Black Pepper

This combination will give you a fast relief from chest congestion.

#6 Bromelain

According to some studies, bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, can help loosen the mucus in the throat as well as suppress coughs.

#7 Thyme

This herb is an expectorant, plus, it contains substances that relax the respiratory tract. It is best consumed as a tea.

#8 Nutrition

Foods high in vitamin C boost the immune system as well as they can help you get rid of a cough faster. Foods rich in vitamin C include – limes, lemons, cabbage, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, zucchini, mangoes, papayas, apples, pears, blueberries, litchi, blackberries, cherries, tomatoes, radishes, or turnips.

Images source – Shutterstock & Getty


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