Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Peachtree Recovery Solutions

Side Effects of NyQuil

Home » Blog » Side Effects of NyQuil

NyQuil is a popular source of relief during cold and flu season, but you should never take this medication without first educating yourself about potential NyQuil side effects and the dangers of NyQuil abuse. 

What Is NyQuil?

NyQuil is the brand name of an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. It is typically used to ease symptoms such headache, fever, coughing, sneezing, and sinus congestion. 

The primary active ingredient in NyQuil is acetaminophen, an analgesic that reduces fever and relieves minor pain. NyQuil also contains smaller amounts of dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant, and doxylamine succinate, an antihistamine. 

NyQuil is designed to be used by individuals aged 12 and above. Parents are advised to consult with their family doctor before giving this medication to children aged 4-12. It should never be given to children under the age of four.

What Are NyQuil Side Effects?

Every medication – including over-the-counter products such as NyQuil – can cause side effects. Potential NyQuil side effects include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Mild rash
  • Restlessness

The Cleveland Clinic reports that more serious NyQuil side effects can include:

  • Vision problems
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes)
  • Significant changes in urination
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Confusion

To minimize the risk of severe NyQuil side effects, the DailyMed database (which falls under the purview of the National Institutes of Health) advises that adults who have the following conditions should consult with their doctor before taking this medication:

  • Liver disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Urination difficulties due to enlarged prostate
  • Asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other breathing problems

The DailyMed database also contains a warning against using alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, blood thinners, and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs) while taking NyQuil.

Can You Get Addicted to NyQuil?

NyQuil poses a low risk of abuse or addiction. But low risk is not the same as no risk. The presence of dextromethorphan and the ability to purchase NyQuil without a prescription may be enticing for someone who is seeking a relatively inexpensive recreational high.

Dextromethorphan, which is sometimes referred to as DXM, can have a dissociative and hallucinogenic effect when taken in large doses. The relatively small amount of DXM in NyQuil means that someone would have to ingest a considerable amount of the medication to achieve this effect, which would put them in significant danger of liver damage. 

People may also abuse NyQuil in combination with alcohol in an effort to magnify the intensity of the effects that either substance can produce on its own. Again, this is a highly ill-advised behavior that can lead to devastating consequences.

In cases where someone intentionally abuses NyQuil (potentially in combination with other drugs), the list of possible negative outcomes includes:

  • Disorientation
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe liver damage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Addiction
  • Overdose 
  • Seizure
  • Accidental death

This form of substance abuse can also expose a person to physical injuries due to impaired judgement and coordination. 

What Happens During Treatment for NyQuil Addiction?

There is no standard, one-size-fits-all course of treatment for people who have become addicted to NyQuil or any other substance. In fact, the services that are ideal for one person can be quite different from the approach that works best for someone else. 

Two general areas in which NyQuil addiction treatment can vary are levels of care and types of treatment. 

Common level of care options include:

At the inpatient and residential levels, patients live at the facility where they are receiving care. 

  • Inpatient care is usually a short-term program that is designed to help patients achieve stabilization. 
  • Residential care offers longer lengths of stay, so that patients can gain a solid foothold in early recovery.
  • Both of these levels feature full days of treatment and round-the-clock supervision.

At the PHP, IOP, and OP levels, patients only need to be at the center when treatment is in session. 

  • PHPs usually offer full days of care, five days a week. 
  • IOPs offer partial days of treatment, two to five days per week. 
  • OPs offer the greatest degree of flexibility, with patients often able to schedule appointments at the frequency that’s best for them.

The types of treatment a patient receives can be influenced by many factors, such as which level of care they are at, how they have been impacted by NyQuil addiction, and if they have any co-occurring mental health concerns.

Examples of possible types of treatment for NyQuil addiction include:

If you have begun to consider professional treatment to help you end your compulsive abuse of NyQuil, don’t spend your time trying to find a so-called “perfect” program (because those don’t really exist). Instead, focus your attention on identifying the treatment provider with the services, philosophy, and environment that match your needs, goals, and expectations.

Get Help for NyQuil Addiction in Atlanta

If you have become addicted to NyQuil, Peachtree Recovery Solutions may be the ideal place for you. Our addiction treatment center in the Atlanta, Georgia, area offers customized outpatient programming for adults whose lives have been derailed by various forms of addiction and certain co-occurring mental health disorders. 

When you choose Peachtree Recovery Solutions, you will have the opportunity to work in active collaboration with a team of skilled and dedicated treatment professionals. With our help, you can regain control of your behaviors and make sustained progress toward a much healthier future.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.