How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This medication contains two ingredients that work in different ways. Oxtriphylline belongs to the class of medications called bronchodilators. It relaxes muscles in the airways, which opens them so that air may move more easily in and out of the lungs. It may also increase the strength of the muscles used for breathing. Guaifenesin belongs to the class of medications called expectorants. It helps to loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up. This medication is used for the symptomatic treatment of asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis when loosening of mucus is required.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each 5 mL of red, cherry-flavoured liquid contains oxtriphylline 100 mg and guaifenesin 50 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: alcohol, anethole, citric acid, FD&C Red No. 2, FD&C Yellow No. 6, flavouring agents, glycerin, sodium citrate, sodium cyclamate, and sugar. Alcohol: 20%. Sodium: <1 mmol (10.4 mg)/5 mL. Gluten, lactose, paraben, sulfite, and tartrazine-free.

How should I use this medication?

The usual dose for those over 14 years of age is 10 mL 4 times daily. For those aged 10 to 14 years, the usual dose is 5 mL 4 times daily.

Use an oral syringe to measure each dose of the liquid, as it gives a more accurate measurement than household teaspoons.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to oxtriphylline, other xanthines (e.g., theophylline, caffeine), guaifenesin, or any ingredients of the medication
  • have an active stomach ulcer
  • have coronary artery disease, when stimulation of the heart might prove harmful
  • have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy (unless appropriate medications are taken)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • increased urination
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • trembling
  • trouble sleeping

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • heartburn or vomiting

Symptoms of overdose

  • abdominal pain (continuing or severe)
  • confusion or change in behaviour
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • dark or bloody vomit
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fast or irregular heartbeat (continuing)
  • nervousness or restlessness (continuing)
  • trembling (continuing)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Blood concentrations: Different people who take the same dose of oxtriphylline will have very different levels of the medication in their blood. For some, this may lead to serious side effects. To make sure you are on the right dose of medication, your doctor may recommend that you have blood tests to measure the levels of the medication in your body.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 10 years of age. The risk of overdose is higher for children, so parents should follow their doctor's instructions carefully when giving the medication, and tell their doctor about all medications their child is taking.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between this medication and any of the following:

  • alcohol
  • allopurinol
  • antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin)
  • birth control pills
  • chlordiazepoxide
  • cimetidine
  • digoxin
  • diuretics (such as hydrochlorothiazide or furosemide)
  • ephedrine
  • erythromycin
  • lithium
  • morphine
  • nicotine (cigarette smoking)
  • propranolol
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • salbutamol
  • sulfinpyrazone
  • verapamil
  • warfarin

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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