Can You Take Mucinex While Breastfeeding? Expert Insight

Keeping up with the list of medications to stay away from while pregnant can be exhausting. What happens after you give birth? Are you allowed to take some medications while you are nursing?

We know that one way or the other, anything that goes into your mouth affects your baby. That brings up the question: can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding?

Mucinex is one common over-the-counter medication for colds. Its three main formulations include Mucinex, Mucinex D, Mucinex DM, and other extra-strength versions, which can be used to treat cold and flu symptoms.

Symptoms like cough, headache, fever, runny nose, chest congestion, etc., are commonly associated with cold and flu. As a breastfeeding mother, you are not immune to falling sick.

Also read: 11 Critical Things You Should Avoid While Breastfeeding in 2023

If you are a nursing mother, down with a cold or flu, and wondering what medication you can take to feel relieved,  fortunately, there are medications you can take to feel better, and one of them is Mucinex. But can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding?

In this article, we will discuss in detail the answer to the question: can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding?

What is Mucinex?

Mucinex is used to treat chest congestion, nasal congestion, body pain, sore throat, headache, sinus pressure, and cough caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.

mucinex pills

It is a brand name for an over-the-counter medication

Mucinex has an active ingredient called guaifenesin, a medication known as an expectorant.

Expectorants help you breathe easier by thinning mucus and loosening lung and chest congestion, making it easier to clear secretions accumulated during a cold or the flu.

Mucinex comes in several forms: tablets, liquid gel capsules, and a liquid formula. Mucinex comes in day and night formulas and also children’s products.

Some Mucinex products contain only guaifenesin, while others contain guaifenesin and ingredients like Dextromethorphan HBr and acetaminophen. It is crucial to read the label of a particular product because different products have different dosages and ingredients.

Can You Take Mucinex While Breastfeeding

One of the questions most people ask is: Can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding?

Most Mucinex medications have active ingredients that are safe to take while breastfeeding. No research has been conducted on guaifenesin, but the dosage is unlikely to affect the health of a breastfeeding baby.

However, breast milk production is decreased by some Mucinex medications containing phenylephrine. Babies may also become restless as a result of it. See your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure how OTC medications will affect you or your baby’s health.

Also read: Why Do Nipples Taste Like Garlic? And What You Should Do

Is Mucinex Safe  For Babies?

There is no research on the excretion of taking Mucinex while breastfeeding or its effect on nursing babies.

However, it is unlikely that with usual maternal doses, amounts in breastmilk would affect a nursing baby, especially in babies over two months of age. So,  Mucinex is generally considered safe for babies to receive through breast milk.

If you are breastfeeding, Mucinex is a better option than many other cold and flu medications because it contains no alcohol. You and your baby should avoid other cold medications with a high alcohol content while breastfeeding.

No cough suppressant or cold medication should be given to children under 2 years, especially those with a decongestant or an antihistamine because they can result in life-threatening side effects like a rapid heartbeat, convulsions, and death.

Always speak to your doctor or a lactation consultant before choosing which medications to take while breastfeeding.

How Much Mucinex Can You Take?

When Mucinex while breastfeeding, the normal dosage for Mucinex for adults is between 200 to 400 milligrams every 4 hours. Children 6 to 12 years are between 100 to 200 milligrams every four hours.

Some available versions of this medication are released gradually to your body over time. Each tablet contains a higher dosage of  600 mg to 1200 mg.

Mucinex should always be taken with a lot of water because it helps to loosen mucus and prevent dehydration.

Also read: 11 Health Benefits of Eating Sunflower Seeds During Pregnancy

How long does  Mucinex take to start working?

The effects of Mucinex DM should start to work quickly and last up to 12 hours because it contains both immediate-release and extended-release active ingredients. Both active ingredients, guaifenesin, and dextromethorphan, will show effects in 15-30 minutes.

Common Side Effects Of Mucinex?

Most women do not suffer any side effects while taking Mucinex while breastfeeding. However, Mucinex medications containing nasal decongestants and antihistamines usually cause some side effects. Always inform your doctors or healthcare providers if you experience any reactions, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep problems

Severe Side Effects Of Mucinex

Mucinex may rarely cause any severe side effects, but always contact your doctors or healthcare provider if you have any severe symptoms that could be life-threatening, such as:

  • Allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing, talking or swallowing
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Severe headache
  • Itchy, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Rash
  • Mood changes
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Wheezing

Safe Alternatives To Mucinex When Breastfeeding

taking mucinex while breastfeeding

Some alternatives might help you feel better if you are worried about using cold medicines while breastfeeding. These alternatives include:

1. Rest.

Rest may not be a word you use as often as you would want now that you are a mother. But when you are sick, get a little sleep if you can. It will help in the fast recovery of your body from the cold. If your post-nasal drip makes you cough at night, raise your head with an extra pillow to relieve yourself.

2. Drink lots of water or other clear liquids.

Clear liquids assist in loosening nasal and chest mucus. Taking warm broth or buckwheat honey with warm tea will help you stay hydrated and clear your congestion.

3. Take a hot, steamy shower.

The steam from a hot shower can also help open your sinuses and nasal passages. Even if you don’t want to shower,  standing in a steamy bathroom will help. If your baby has congestion, the heated steam may also be helpful.

4. Use a humidifier.

The benefits of a humidifier are the same as that of a steamy shower. Use a humidifier while sleeping to get some relief overnight.

5. Try a neti pot or saline nasal spray.

You can also try a drug-free neti pot or saline nasal spray if that congestion doesn’t go away.

FAQs (Can you take Mucinex while Breastfeeding)

Is Mucinex safe for my unborn baby?

According to research, taking Mucinex during pregnancy has been associated with a higher risk of neural tube defects in the fetus, particularly during the first trimester. Consult your doctor to know the possible effects based on your dosage.

Can Mucinex cause a miscarriage?

No adequate studies show that guaifenesin (the main ingredient) in Mucinex can increase the risk of miscarriage. It is best to avoid taking it while pregnant since the safety of this medication during pregnancy has not been well established.
Avoid taking Mucinex over the counter since your doctor can prescribe a safe medication based on the pregnancy stage, the severity of the symptoms, and other factors. Before taking an over-the-counter medication during pregnancy, make sure it is safe.

Why shouldn’t I take Mucinex at night?

Avoid taking this medication before bedtime because the pseudoephedrine may make it difficult to fall asleep. Your blood pressure may increase if you take Mucinex D (guaifenesin/ pseudoephedrine). Before beginning the medication, make sure your doctor is aware of any high blood pressure or heart problem you may have.

Can I take Mucinex and Nyquil Together?

Yes, You can take Mucinex and Nyquil together because they contain different ingredients, but Mucinex DM and Nyquil should not be taken together because they contain the same ingredient. (dextromethorphan).

Conclusion

Taking Mucinex while breastfeeding is totally safe for a mother, but it should not be used for a prolonged time. Doctors recommend resting, taking hot liquids with honey, and sinus rinses in addition to this medication to fasten recovery.

Consult a healthcare provider to see if taking Mucinex while breastfeeding is the best option.

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