belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines and is primarily used to treat symptoms of the common cold, as a short term treatment to promote sleep, and to treat morning sickness in pregnant women." /> Neocitran Cold and Flu Syrup

Neocitran Cold and Flu Syrup

Brand Name:Tylenol Cold and Flu Nighttime, Vicks Nyquil Cold and Flu, Diclectin, Mersyndol with codeine, and many others

Prescription needed: Yes, In Some Cases

What is this drug used for?

Doxylamine belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines and is primarily used to treat symptoms of the common cold, as a short term treatment to promote sleep, and to treat morning sickness in pregnant women.

Is there any reason not to take this drug?

You should not take this drug if you are allergic to doxylamine. Since doxylamine is available in many combination products - check if you are allergic to any of the other drugs included in that product.

Always disclose your full medical history with the medical team that is taking care of you, in order for them to provide you with the safest and most effective care.

Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • glaucoma (especially narrow angle glaucoma, or open angle glaucoma that is not being treated)
  • problems with your kidney or liver
  • difficulty going to the bathroom due to an enlarged prostate, urinary blockage, urinary incontinence or urinary retention
  • any heart rhythm problems
  • chronic breathing conditions
  • problems with constipation or blockage of intestines
  • an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

What about possible side effects?

This medication is usually well tolerated but you should be aware of some potential side effects. The following list of more common side effects can be quite bothersome, but unless they are severe, you should continue taking doxylamine as prescribed. Contact your doctor or pharmacist to get advice on how to manage these side effects.

  • dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • upset stomach
  • drowsiness and sleepiness
  • dizziness

Other less common side effects include:

  • headache
  • blurry vision or double vision
  • difficulty urinating

Other less common but potentially serious side effects include:

  • severe skin rash, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hives all over the body or near the face and throat – signs of an allergic reaction - stop taking doxylamine and get emergency medical help immediately
  • convulsions – stop taking doxylamine and get emergency medical help immediately
  • [heart palpitations] – stop taking doxylamine and contact your doctor
  • anxiety, restlessness – stop taking doxylamine and contact your doctor

This is not a complete list of side effects. If you are concerned about these or other unusual symptoms while taking this medication, ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for more information and advice.

What if I am taking other drugs?

Always provide your doctor with a list of all other drugs you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and herbal/natural products) as they may interact with and/or may change the safety or effectiveness of either drug. Tell your doctor specifically if you are taking any of these drugs as these are the most common interactions and he/she may need to make changes or monitor you more closely:

  • drugs that can cause tiredness, sedation, dizziness or increase the chances of having the same side effects - talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following drugs:
    • opioid pain medications (e.g. codeine, oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone)
    • opioid cough medications (e.g. hydrocodone, codeine)
    • some antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, doxepin, venlafaxine, paroxetine, trazodone)
    • medications for anxiety and insomnia (e.g. lorazepam, diazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, zopiclone)
    • antipsychotics (e.g. risperidone, haloperidol)
    • muscle relaxants (e.g. cyclobenzaprine, orphenadrine, baclofen)
    • drugs for epilepsy (gabapentin, phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, valproic acid)
    • other antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, hydroxyzine) – avoid combining other products that treat colds, flu or to help with sleep
    • alcoholic beverages, including wine, liquors, beer
    • herbal products (e.g. valerian, St John’s Wort)
  • drugs that can cause dry mouth, dry eyes, problems urinating or constipation (e.g. amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine; ask your doctor or pharmacist) - increase your chances of having similar side effects.
  • MAO inhibitors may prolong and intensify the side effects of antihistamines, in particular causing fainting and dizziness.
    • MAO inhibitors include phenelzine (brand name Nardil), tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate), moclobemide (brand name Manerix, generics available) isocarboxazid (available in the U.S.A. under the brand name Marplan) and others not available in Canada
    • low doses of the MAO inhibitor selegeline (brand name Deprenyl, generics available) may be safe but always be cautious and seek advice from your doctor
  • donepezil, rivastigmine,galantamine – decrease in effects of either drug

This is not a complete list of drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your list of medications.

Other information:

Special Instructions:

  • If you are planning on having any skin tests for allergies, tell your doctor that you are taking this medication as it may affect the results of your allergy test.
  • Some doxylamine products are long-acting (e.g. Dicelctin) and the tablets should be swallowed whole, not crushed or chewed
  • If using this medication for a long time, you may notice that it is not working as well since it tends to lose its effect over time. Talk to you doctor or pharmacist. This medication is intended for short-term use only – less than 2 weeks.

Children: Not for use in children less than 12 years. Children may show signs of excitement and hyperactivity versus drowsiness. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Seniors: Are more sensitive to side effects and lower doses are usually necessary, especially at the start of therapy. May see signs of excitement and agitation as opposed to drowsiness. Products to help with sleep should not be used in the elderly – see your doctor about safer alternatives.

Pregnancy: Safely used in pregnancy.

Women who are nursing: This drug passes into breast milk. Your infant may appear excessively sleepy – please monitor and report any change in your infant to your doctor.

People who drive or operate machinery: May cause significant drowsiness blurry vision, or unsteady hands. You should not use doxylamine and operate machinery without first seeing how this drug affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid the use of alcohol – increases risk of dizziness and drowsiness.

Overdose: A large overdose of this medicine could cause severe and unusual drowsiness. If you experience any unusual reactions or if you seriously exceed the recommended dosage, call your doctor or 911.

Stopping the drug: This drug can be stopped safely, but symptoms may return.

If you miss a dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Storage conditions: Closed container; cool, dry location away from excess moisture (not in the bathroom) and light; always out of reach of children.

Dietary precautions: None