When it comes to defeating the common cold, there are few remedies as reliable as over-the-counter dayquil. This syrup has been helping people cope with cold symptoms for more than a century. But while you may recognize the homey blue and white label and know that it’s good for stuffy noses, you might find yourself wondering how much dayquil to take, if it’s safe to take it with other medications, or what its active ingredient is so you can find something similar in future. This article will answer these questions and more about using this popular remedy.
How to Use Dayquil: Dosage, Toxicity and Alternatives
You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who enjoys suffering from the effects of a common cold. It’s no fun, and it makes going through your normal day very difficult. In fact, you might even have difficulty going to work or school without feeling like you’re about to pass out at any moment.
During a common cold, our body produces mucus to protect the nasal passages from bacteria and other germs. While this is a natural defense mechanism, more often than not it only ends up making things worse.
The mucus causes blockages in the nose, which in turn causes sneezing and sniffling. To help treat these symptoms until they go away on their own, many people use over-the-counter drugs like Dayquil. But what exactly is Dayquil? Are there any side effects? Keep reading to learn more!
What is Dayquil?
Dayquil is a brand name for the drug acetylcysteine, a type of antihistamine. Histamines are a type of immune system chemical that causes allergies and inflammation. While antihistamines are generally useful in reducing excessive immune responses, they don’t actually have much effect on a runny nose. An actual cold is caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses are too small to be affected by antihistamines, so they have no medical use in treating a cold.
The only thing that cold medicine like Dayquil can do is make you drowsy. The only actual medical use of acetylcysteine is as a treatment for liver disease. Acetylcysteine is an old drug that has been around for decades. It is an amino acid that is used to increase the amount of mucus that is produced by the body. It helps to thin out the mucus and make it less sticky, so it can be easier to clear it from the nasal passages.
How does Dayquil work?
When we get sick, our immune system releases chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines make the body produce more mucus to protect the airways. The mucus helps trap bacteria and viruses that cause infections like a cold. However, sometimes it can become too sticky and thick, causing symptoms like a runny nose and congestion. Dayquil contains acetylcysteine. When you take it, it encourages the immune system to make even more mucus, which can help clear the symptoms of a cold.
Toxicity of Dayquil
There is some concern that taking large doses of Dayquil can cause liver toxicity. It is generally recommended that you only take the recommended dose of Dayquil and no more. If you take more than the recommended amount, it can create more mucus than your body can handle, which can lead to potential complications.
If you take too much Dayquil or are on other medications at the same time, it can cause unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, drowsiness, and confusion. There is also some evidence that taking Dayquil can increase your risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
Side effects of using Dayquil
Since Dayquil is an antihistamine that also makes you drowsy, you may also experience other unpleasant side effects, like dizziness, nausea, headaches, dry mouth, and blurred vision. Although nausea and drowsiness are the most common side effects when taking Dayquil, it’s important to be aware of all the potential complications and side effects associated with the medication in case you experience any. Many people take Dayquil to relieve the symptoms of a cold, but it should never be used as a replacement for proper rest. While the drug can help you feel less congested and have more energy, it is important to remember that Dayquil doesn’t actually treat the root cause of your illness.
Alternatives to using Dayquil
If you’re looking for an alternative to using Dayquil, try drinking plenty of fluids. It can help to clear out any mucus in your nasal passages and get you feeling healthy again sooner than if you rely solely on Dayquil. You can also try using a saline nasal spray, breathing in steam, using a humidifier, and exercising as often as you can to help reduce the symptoms of a cold. While these methods won’t be as quick-acting as Dayquil, they may be better suited for long-term healing. If you have a cold, you don’t want to be popping pills continuously.
The main goal of treatment for a cold is to make sure you’re hydrated and staying warm. There is no cure for the common cold, so don’t try to fight it with a limited amount of options! If you do decide to go with Dayquil, make sure to follow the directions and only take the recommended dose. In order to get better as quickly as possible, it’s important to treat your cold and follow good hygiene practices like hand washing and avoiding touching your nose when you can.