Guaifenesin is an expectorant available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that make coughs more productive by loosening chest congestion and ridding the airways of bothersome mucus. Guaifenesin can be the only active ingredient in a cough medicine, or it can be found in multi-symptom cough and cold products. Guaifenesin may also be found in medicines that treat bronchial asthma.

Guaifenesin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions. Parents and other caregivers should be aware that OTC cough medicines and multi-symptom cough and cold products are not intended for use in children under the age of 4.

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  • Your cough lasts for more than seven days, returns, or occurs with a fever, rash, or persistent headache. These additional symptoms could be signs of a more serious illness.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.
  • Never give an OTC cough medicine or multi-symptom cough and cold medicine to a child under the age of 4.
  • Guaifenesin-containing medicines are available in different dosage strengths. Do not give any OTC medicine that is only intended for use in adults to a child.
  • Read the Drug Facts label for proper child dosing instructions and contact a healthcare provider as directed.
  • Click here for more information on giving OTCs to children.