Mucinex and Mucinex DM are both cough and cold medicines, they act as expecto-rants. An expectorant is a medicine which helps to thin and clear the mucus or phlegm that blocks the chest and nasal tract during a cough or flu infection. Being that they both serve the same purpose of thinning and clearing mucus, the two med-icines are only slightly different in terms of their efficacy and other parameters . Here are some differences between Mucinex and Mucinex DM.
Mucinex is mainly made up of an expectorant component known as guaifenesin while Mucinex DM contains both guaifenesin and another component known as dextromethorphan HBr. Dextromethorphan HBr helps in suppressing cough.
Efficacy and strength
In terms of efficacy, Mucinex DM works more effectively to relieve coughs and colds than Mucinex. Mucinex clears chest congestion but Mucinex DM eases out mucus better than it. Mucinex DM is also capable of clearing sinus infections apart from colds and coughs. Mucinex DM is more effective in relieving coughs than Mucinex because it contains dextromethorphan HBr which is a cough suppresant. Mucinex DM can clear both dry and wet cough. People with mild cough should try Mucinex first and only opt for Mucinex DM if the cough is persistent.
Mechanism of clearing coughs and colds
Mucinex and Mucinex DM work in different ways to clear mucus which forms in the nasal cavities during coughs and colds. Mucinex works by thinning and loosening mucus. It’s believed that Mucinex irritates the gastric mucosa and thereby stimulates the secretion of respiratory fluids. Increase in the volume of respiratory fluids con-sequently leads to mucus becoming less viscous. The less viscous mucus can then be easily swept away and the nasal passages cleared.
Mucinex DM on the other triggers signals in the brain to suppress coughing apart from decongesting nasal passages
The dosages which are usually prescribed for Mucinex and Mucinex DM are differ-ent because the two medicines differ from one another in terms of strength. The dos-age of Mucinex DM is usually lower than that of Mucinex for people of the same age because the former is stronger. The prescription for Mucinex is usually one or two tablets every 12 hours depending on the severity of the cough or cold. The pre-scription for Mucinex DM is however one tablet for every 12 hours. One tablet of Mucinex is usually prevalent for about six to seven hours while a tablet of Mucinex DM can last for up to 12 hours and beyond.
In regard to packaging, Mucinex is usually packed in packages contain 20 to 40, 60, and 100 tablets while Mucinex DM often comes in packs containing 20 and 40 tab-lets.
Side effects of Mucinex include dizziness, headache, and drowsiness. Large quanti-ties of Mucinex have also been linked to kidney stones.
Alongside dizziness and drowsiness, side effects of Mucinex DM may include stom-ach upset, nausea, and vomiting. Dextromethorphan may also in some cases cause allergic reactions such as hives, rashes, itching, swellings on the mouth, tongue, and lips, and difficulty in breathing among others.
How to use Mucinex and Mucinex DM
When taking Mucinex and Mucinex DM , you should carefully follow the doctor’s instructions in order to avoid overdosing. Overdosing especially on Mucinex DM may cause serious problems including seizure and brain damage. Overdosing on Mucinex DM can also be fatal, leading to death.
Mucinex and Mucinex DM should also not be given to children below the age of 12 years and pregnant women. They have been found unsafe for this category of per-sons. Also, avoid abusing these drugs.