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Cheratussin AC (Generic Guaifenesin)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Cheratussin AC is commonly prescribed as a cough suppressant and expectorant. The combination of codeine and guaifenesin helps to alleviate coughing by suppressing the urge to cough and by loosening mucus and phlegm in the respiratory tract, making it easier to expel.

How should this medicine be used?

Cheratussin AC should be used exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow all instructions on the prescription label or provided by your pharmacist. Here are some general guidelines for using Cheratussin AC:

  • Dosage: Take Cheratussin AC exactly as directed by your doctor. The dosage may vary depending on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment.
  • Measuring Device: Use a proper measuring device, such as a medication syringe or spoon, to measure each dose accurately. Avoid using household teaspoons, as they may not provide the correct measurement.
  • Frequency: Take Cheratussin AC at regular intervals as prescribed by your doctor. Typically, it is taken every 4 to 6 hours, not exceeding a certain number of doses in a 24-hour period.
  • Duration: Do not take Cheratussin AC for longer than recommended by your doctor. Using it for an extended period or in higher doses than prescribed can increase the risk of side effects and dependency.
  • Swallowing: Swallow the medication whole without crushing, chewing, or breaking the extended-release tablets. If you are using the liquid form of Cheratussin AC, shake the bottle well before each use.
  • Food: You can take Cheratussin AC with or without food. However, taking it with food may help reduce stomach upset.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids while taking Cheratussin AC to help loosen mucus and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Storage: Store Cheratussin AC at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of any unused medication properly according to local guidelines or as instructed by your pharmacist.
  • Caution: Avoid consuming alcohol or other sedating substances while taking Cheratussin AC, as it can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and respiratory depression.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to use Cheratussin AC, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance. It’s essential to use this medication responsibly and according to medical advice to maximize its benefits and minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Other uses for this medicine

Cheratussin AC, containing codeine and guaifenesin, is primarily prescribed for cough suppression and to loosen mucus in the respiratory tract. However, it’s important to note that medications like Cheratussin AC should only be used for their intended purposes as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Off-label use, or using the medication for purposes other than those approved by regulatory agencies, should be avoided without proper medical guidance.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions when using Cheratussin AC, here are some important points to consider:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to codeine, guaifenesin, or any other ingredients in Cheratussin AC. Also, disclose any allergies you may have to other opioids or cough and cold medications.
  • Medical History: Provide your complete medical history to your healthcare provider, especially if you have a history of respiratory conditions, liver or kidney disease, asthma, bronchitis, or any other health issues. This information will help your doctor determine if Cheratussin AC is safe and appropriate for you.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using Cheratussin AC. Codeine, one of the active ingredients in Cheratussin AC, can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Additionally, prolonged use of codeine during pregnancy can lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborns.
  • Children and Elderly: Use caution when giving Cheratussin AC to children or elderly individuals, as they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medication. Always follow pediatric or geriatric dosing recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.
  • Interactions: Inform your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking, as well as any supplements or vitamins. Cheratussin AC may interact with certain medications, including other opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), leading to potentially serious side effects.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Cheratussin AC may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision, especially when combined with alcohol or other sedating substances. Avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in activities that require mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Medical Emergencies: In the event of a medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing or severe dizziness, seek immediate medical attention and inform healthcare providers about all medications you are taking, including Cheratussin AC.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and guidelines for using Cheratussin AC, and do not hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification if you have any concerns about its use or potential side effects.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, there aren’t specific dietary restrictions associated with Cheratussin AC. However, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids can help loosen mucus and alleviate symptoms. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol while taking Cheratussin AC, as it can increase the risk of side effects.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Cheratussin AC, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Cheratussin AC, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some people may experience stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting while taking Cheratussin AC.
  • Drowsiness and Dizziness: Cheratussin AC can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness, especially when starting the medication or when taking higher doses.
  • Constipation: Codeine, one of the active ingredients in Cheratussin AC, can cause constipation, particularly with prolonged use.
  • Headache: Headaches may occur as a side effect of Cheratussin AC.
  • Dry Mouth: Guaifenesin, another component of Cheratussin AC, may cause dry mouth in some individuals.
  • Difficulty Urinating: Some people may experience difficulty urinating while taking Cheratussin AC.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to Cheratussin AC are rare but can occur. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
  • Respiratory Depression: Cheratussin AC contains codeine, which can suppress breathing, especially when taken in high doses or in combination with other medications that depress the central nervous system.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: In rare cases, Cheratussin AC can cause serotonin syndrome when combined with certain medications, leading to symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, fever, excessive sweating, shivering, tremors, muscle stiffness, or twitching.

It’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while taking Cheratussin AC, especially if they are severe, persistent, or concerning. Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary. Additionally, if you experience any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction or respiratory depression, seek immediate medical attention.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Cheratussin AC:

  • Storage: Store Cheratussin AC at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep it out of reach of children and pets. Avoid storing it in the bathroom or kitchen, where moisture levels may be higher.
  • Disposal: Dispose of any unused medication properly according to local guidelines or as instructed by your pharmacist. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Instead, take unused medications to a drug take-back program or a pharmacy for proper disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose or emergency, such as difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, loss of consciousness, or unresponsiveness, seek immediate medical attention or call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Be prepared to provide information about the medication ingested, including the name (Cheratussin AC), the strength, and the amount taken.

What other information should I know?

  • Other Information: Before taking Cheratussin AC, inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of substance abuse, mental health disorders, or if you are taking other medications that may interact with Cheratussin AC. Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Cheratussin AC, as it can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Cheratussin AC may cause drowsiness or dizziness, so avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how it affects you. Use caution when engaging in activities that require mental alertness.
  • Follow-up: Follow up with your healthcare provider as scheduled to monitor your response to Cheratussin AC and to ensure that it is effectively managing your symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor promptly.
  • Medication Guide: Read the medication guide provided by your pharmacist before starting Cheratussin AC and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions or concerns about the medication, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about Cheratussin AC, you can use the medication safely and effectively to manage your symptoms.

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