Before You Buy DayQuil Cold and Flu

Woman taking cough medicine in bed
DayQuil Warnings. Brand New Images / Getty Images

DayQuil Cold and Flu is a multi-purpose medication used to treat several symptoms of the cold and flu. Find out if it's right for you and your symptoms.

Active Ingredients (in each 15 ml tablespoon):

Acetaminophen 325mg (pain reliever/fever reducer)
Dextromethorphan HBr 10mg (cough suppressant)
Phenylephrine HCl 5mg (nasal decongestant)


Adults and Children over age 12 – 2 Tbsp (30ml) every 4 hours, do not exceed 6 doses in 24 hours
Children ages 6 to 12 – 1 Tbsp (15ml) every 4 hours, Do not exceed 5 doses in 24 hours
Children under age 6 – Ask a doctor


Temporarily relieves cold and flu symptoms including:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever
  • Minor Aches and Pains

Side Effects:

Vicks© does not report any side effects for this medication.


May cause liver damage in people who drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day. Do not take with other medications containing acetaminophen. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage, even in non-drinkers.
Do not take this medication if you are taking a medication known as an MAOI (used to treat depression, psychiatric or emotional disorders and Parkinson’s disease) or have taken one in the last two weeks.

Ask a Doctor Before Use:

  • If you have heart disease or high blood pressure
  • If you have thyroid disease
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostrate
  • If you have a cough that produces a lot of mucous or is caused by asthma, COPD, smoking or emphysema
  • If you are on a sodium-restricted diet – this medication contains 71mg of sodium per Tbsp
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding


Stop taking DayQuil and ask a doctor if you experience:

  • Nervousness, dizziness or sleeplessness
  • Symptoms that get worse or last more than 5 days in children or 7 days in adults
  • Fever that gets worse or lasts more than 3 days
  • Redness or swelling
  • Cough that comes back with a headache that lasts or a rash
  • New symptoms
  • Sore throat that occurs with a fever, headache, rash, nausea, vomiting or lasts longer than 2 days


"Vicks DayQuil Cold/Flu Relief." Vicks. 2006. Proctor & Gamble. 20 Nov 2006 <>.

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