It’s that time of year when colds and flu seem to abound and everyone is passing them around. In this article NyQuil Side Effects, I share some important side effect information about the ingredients in this and other over-the-counter cold and flu medications.
According to WrongDiagnosis.com, an estimated 2.2 million people per year suffer an adverse reaction to an FDA-approved drug, and approximately 100,000 of these people die as a result. Even if you are taking a well-known over the counter medication or using a drug prescribed by your doctor, side effects can become a problem (1).
Most over the counter cold and flu medicines (like NyQuil liquid or similar preparations) typically contain the following ingredients:
- Acetaminophin – this is a pain reliever and fever reducer – trade name Tylenol
- Dextromethorphan (DXM) – cough suppressant
- Doxylamine succinate – antihistamine
- Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride – nasal decongestants
Acetaminophen has been around for a while and many people are accustomed to taking Tylenol as their every day pain reliever. Acetaminophen is hard on our livers and 2,000 mg can damage the liver. An overdose can kill you and it will be a painful death. Mixing acetaminophen with Alcohol is not a good idea because their combined ingredients are much harder on the liver and can cause small insignificant liver damage that can grow worse as time progresses.
The active ingredient in NyQuil type medications 15 percent alcohol. Dr. Ralph M. Lewis has stated that severe liver damage can also cause brain damage and the alcohol in these medications increase the potential for brain cell damage – especially when people disregard the dosage recommendations (2).
The US FDA warns that acetaminophen is toxic to the liver and that it is linked to liver failure and other serious problems (4). Previous studies have linked this drug to kidney damage, asthma and death and it has recently been implicated in increasing the potential to develop blood related cancers. (5).
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant. It works by suppressing the receptors in the brain that control coughing. It does NOT address or assist the area of the body that produces the cough (throat or lungs). Those areas are still aggravated and want to do what the Creator intended and that is cough to help your body remove the offending material. Dextromethorphan works on our brains to make specific receptors stop working as the Creator intended. It does not soothe or help our throats and lungs. This drug is abused and taken by many as a “recreational drug”. For our bodies to dispose of dextromethorphan our livers must come to the rescue once again. You can see that the liver is working over-time just to handle and remove these three ingredients.
Doxylamine succinate is an antihistamine and it suppresses an interferes with muscle movement (including heart activity but usually not in a detrimental way). This is among a family of drugs that can cause hallucinations and delirium when taken in large amounts. Unfortunately, there are people and children who are overdosing on this type of drug for the “high” or “trip” effects they can get. Very serious side effects are associated with abuse of this drug including, convulsions, vomiting, bleeding from membranes and eyes to name a few.
Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride this is closely related to ephedrine and is a mild stimulant that is stronger than caffeine. It is hard on our hearts when taken in large amounts or in sensitive individuals.
NyQuil Side Effects
E-Health Me listed the following side effects for NyQuil’s active ingredients:
- Emotional distress
- High blood pressure
- Supraventricular arrhythmia
On December 31, 2012, 655 people reported to have side effects when taking NyQuil. Among them, 17 people had a stroke.
One woman reported that she took NyQuil and woke up an hour later with a STRONG compulsion to jump out of the window. Her mind was racing and she woke her husband and asked him to stay with her until the symptoms passed. She stated that she had no previous experiences with depression, anxiety or any suicidal thoughts. Once the NyQuil side effects passed she did not, nor has she had similar thought or feelings again. She was aware of the serious and unbalanced mental state that she was in but felt “powerless” to control her thoughts or feelings. (3)
It is important to be aware of NyQuil side effects and other cold and flu medications. It is important to remember to not mix them with other drugs, take additional acetaminophen or alcohol or to take more than the maximum dose per day.
As you can see, NyQuil and over-the-counter cold and flu medications are not your friend nor are they a friend to your liver. I personally believe that it is best to refrain from the use of all over-the-counter and prescription cold and flu medications and choose natural medicinal foods, herbs and therapeutic grade essential oils instead. For more information on natural ways to decrease the likely hood of contracting the cold and flu virus read our article.
I hope this article was helpful in providing information about the side effects of using NyQuil and other cold and flu medications.
(3) e-health med