Alcohol is already bad for a person’s health when consumed on its own, and it can be even worse when mixed with DayQuil. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the risks associated with consuming cough syrup and alcohol at the same time. In some cases, mixing DayQuil and alcohol can lead to severe organ damage or even death.

If someone in your life struggles with alcohol addiction, then there is a chance that they might mix alcohol and cough syrup at some point. Therefore, in order to be ready in case this ever happens to one of your loved ones, you need to check out this comprehensive overview of the dangers of mixing alcohol and DayQuil.


What Is DayQuil?

Vicks DayQuil is the brand name of an over-the-counter cough syrup that contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine. DayQuil is similar with Nyquil. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) relieves pain and lowers fever. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant and is commonly used in over-the-counter cold and flu medications.

Phenylephrine is a decongestant, meaning that the drug clears the nasal passages and sinuses so that you can breathe more easily. All three of these ingredients are processed in the liver. People often take DayQuil to deal with congestion, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, minor aches and pains, runny nose, and similar symptoms.

What Are the Side Effects of DayQuil?

DayQuil and other daytime cough syrups are often marketed in a way that implies that they won’t affect a person’s energy levels. However, the dextromethorphan in DayQuil can still make a person drowsy. Which means a person who took DayQuil should not drive because of the drowsiness.

Other side effects include dizziness, anxiety, lightheadedness, headache, and nausea. If any of these side effects persist or worsen, then you should immediately seek medical attention.

Why Are Alcohol and DayQuil Dangerous Together?

Alcohol is processed in your liver, and it takes a lot of effort for the liver to properly metabolize the substance. This is why heavy drinkers often develop liver disease. Acetaminophen is especially taxing on the liver, and the other active ingredients in DayQuil are also processed in the liver. Thus, when someone mixes alcohol and cough syrup, they are bombarding their liver with chemicals that are difficult to process, potentially resulting in severe damage.

Other dangerous side effects of combining DayQuil and alcohol is high blood pressure, sleep disorders and hallucinations. Without prompt medical attention, an overdose on alcohol and DayQuil because of acetaminophen overdose can quickly lead to death. It only takes two or three drinks to cause harm when mixed with a normal dose of DayQuil.

Naturally, the extent of liver damage will increase as a person takes more DayQuil or drinks more alcohol. Aside from liver damage, people often become very dizzy and lose control of their motor skills after mixing alcohol and DayQuil, and this may cause them to fall and injure themselves.

Do People Intentionally Misuse DayQuil?

When consumed in large quantities, dextromethorphan can have psychoactive effects that some people find desirable. Thus, many people intentionally abuse DayQuil to experience hallucinations, euphoria, and dissociation, which is already considered as substance abuse.

If someone has taken more than the recommended dose of DayQuil, then they will often be confused, lethargic, or unresponsive. Other symptoms of DayQuil intoxication include numbness, increased heart rate, agitation, vomiting, and extreme dizziness.

Even without alcohol, ingesting high doses of DayQuil is extremely dangerous, so you must call an ambulance as quickly as possible if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms. In case you suspect substance use disorder, opt for treatment options right away.

How Can You Use DayQuil Safely?

Generally speaking, DayQuil is a safe drug. However, just like any drug, there are safety precautions along with it. To avoid any untoward adverse effects, there are points to remember on how to use DayQuil safely.

Read the Label

People sometimes just drink cough syrup straight from the container. This is a very bad way to take it. While someone may think that they’re not taking too much, people often consume a lot more than they expect when they swallow it straight from the bottle.

To avoid taking too much, you need to find the recommended dose on the label. Once you know how much DayQuil you need, you must use the measuring cup that comes with the bottle. Otherwise, you may end up taking the wrong dose.

Avoid Other Substances

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that doesn’t mix well with DayQuil. Over-the-counter pain relievers, cold and flu medications, antihistamines, and many other drugs may negatively interact with cough syrup.

Many of these medications contain acetaminophen and other substances that are metabolized in the liver, so carelessly mixing over-the-counter drugs may lead to severe liver damage. If you take a prescription drug, then you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using DayQuil. Always listen to your doctor’s medical advice to prevent liver failure.

See a Doctor About Cold and Flu Symptoms

While DayQuil is generally safe to use over short periods, prolonged consumption of cough syrup at the recommended dose can cause liver damage and other medical problems. Therefore, if your cold or flu symptoms have not subsided within a few days, then you should see a doctor. They will give you the best treatment plan to ease your symptoms and overcome your illness without risking your health.

How Can You Minimize the Harm of Alcohol Consumption?

Binge drinking on alcohol may seem to be harmless at first. However, one drink leading to another is a red flag for alcohol addiction. Drinking alcohol may be minimized and it all starts with self-control. Here are ways to avoid the temptation of drinking too much alcohol:

Count Your Drinks

It’s easy for a single drink of alcohol to turn into a dozen of bottles by the end of the night. This is because people often lose track of their drinks when they go out. To avoid intoxication, you should set a hard limit for yourself and find a way to accurately track how many drinks you’ve had. If you aren’t confident in your ability to self-regulate your alcohol consumption, then you might want to avoid drinking altogether.

Avoid Other Substances

Alcohol can interact negatively with several street drugs, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications. Therefore, you should avoid alcohol, pain relievers, and most other medications when consuming alcohol.

Even when there is no risk of overdose, alcohol may weaken your immune system or nullify the effects of many medications. If you’re already sick, then you shouldn’t drink until you’ve fully healed. Otherwise, it will take longer for you to feel better, and you may experience negative drug interactions.

Plan Your Transportation

Every day, nearly 30 people die in accidents resulting from drunk driving in the United States. Even a single drink can affect your reflexes and impair your judgment enough to make it dangerous behind the wheel.

Many people end up drunk driving because they didn’t plan ahead. If you’re going to consume alcohol outside of your home, then it’s a good idea to secure a ride before you start drinking so that you’re not tempted to drive drunk when the night is over. Perhaps you can call an Uber or arrange transportation from a loved one.

Avoid Risky People and Questionable Situations

Some people don’t have your best interests at heart. They may pressure you to drink excessively, use drugs, or engage in other risky behaviors. Although you may have the best judgement to stay safe when you’re sober, alcohol can impair your judgment and cause you to do all kinds of wild and dangerous things.

Furthermore, you should avoid drinking in unfamiliar places or with people whom you don’t fully trust. You’re a much easier target when you’re intoxicated, so you may be at greater risk of robbery or assault when you’re not drinking in a safe and familiar environment.

Take Inventory of Your Drinking Habits

Alcohol dependence often creeps into a person’s life. Thus, if you consume alcohol, then you should regularly reflect on your drinking habits. Has drinking caused any problems in your life lately? How often do you drink?

Do you get incredibly intoxicated when you drink? Do you find yourself regularly thinking about alcohol, bars, and parties? By consistently taking inventory of your drinking habits, you will be more likely to identify a problem and take action before your life spirals out of control.

Don’t Drink When You’re Feeling Bad

If you’re already in a bad mood, then drinking isn’t going to help. It may make you feel good for a short time, but you will be more likely to drink excessively and engage in risky behaviors when you’re not in a good mental state.

Moreover, you’ll just feel worse when you sober up. Bottling up your feelings is a recipe for disaster. If your emotional problems persist, then you should seek support from your loved ones and reach out to a mental health professional.

Is Mixing Alcohol and DayQuil a Red Flag?

Even if it’s an accident, mixing alcohol and DayQuil is a sign of a much bigger problem. People who don’t struggle with alcohol addiction can easily abstain from alcohol while taking DayQuil. In contrast, when someone is dependent on alcohol, they need to keep drinking to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Consequently, they may inadvertently mix alcohol and DayQuil, and this could lead to complications. Consuming alcohol and DayQuil at the same time implies an inability to drink responsibly. Therefore, if someone close to you has mixed alcohol and DayQuil, then you should help them find an effective addiction recovery program.

What Are the Most Common Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

 Are you concerned that a loved one may fall in the dark place of alcoholism? Perhaps your loved one is in denial, but their actions is absolutely concerning. You should watch out for signs of alcohol use disorder and confront your loved one about seeking help. Here are the signs you should look out for:

Erratic Behavior

Even two or three drinks of alcoholic beverages can cause someone to lose their inhibitions. When someone is under the influence of alcohol, they may exhibit increased aggression, disregard for their own safety, melancholy, and socially unacceptable behaviors. DayQuil and other drugs may exacerbate mood swings and other abnormal behaviors when taken with alcohol.

Unfulfilled Responsibilities

Alcohol typically starts to play a more central role in a person’s life as their addiction progresses. They may stop going to work, attending family functions, showering, cleaning their home, and taking care of other responsibilities as they continue to drink more and more.

Alcohol also leads to depression in many patients, which may further exacerbate their inability or unwillingness to fulfill everyday responsibilities. The inability to fulfill their daily responsibilities may lead to unemployment or legal problems.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Early withdrawal symptoms typically start around six hours after a person’s last drink. These symptoms include fatigue, headache, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. After 24 hours without a drink, individuals with alcohol dependence may start to experience hallucinations, tremors, vomiting, and other serious symptoms.

However, although all of these symptoms are common signs of alcohol addiction, they are also common symptoms of other illnesses. Thus, you shouldn’t automatically assume that someone with these symptoms has a drinking problem unless they also exhibit other signs of alcohol dependence.

Slurred Speech and Poor Motor Skills

Alcohol affects a person’s ability to speak correctly and maintain balance. Consequently, people often start to slur their words or stumble around after a few drinks. Nonetheless, many individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction can mask these symptoms, so you shouldn’t necessarily take clear speech and good motor control as sure signs that someone doesn’t have a problem.

How Can You Help Someone Who Struggles With Addiction?

Once you realize someone in your life struggles with addiction, you need to find a way to bring it up to them. When speaking to someone about their addiction, you mustn’t act angry or judgmental. Instead, show them as much support and love as possible. They may deny it or even lash out at you, but you shouldn’t take it personally.

If you’re having trouble getting through to them, then you may want to contact an addiction specialist to find the best way to help them deal with their addiction. They may be tempted to overcome their addiction alone, but this might not be a good idea. Social pressures, severe withdrawal symptoms, and other complicated factors make it very difficult for people to overcome addiction without outside help.

For this reason, you should help them find a reputable recovery center in their area. Addiction treatment centers have skilled doctors, experienced therapists, and good facilities to help people get through their withdrawal symptoms and achieve sustainable sobriety. By helping your loved one recognize their addiction and seek treatment for it, you will drive them towards a happier and healthier life. Long Island Interventions is here for your loved one, we are one of the best treatment facilities in the country.

Find the Right Addiction Treatment as Soon as Possible

DayQuil is not your ordinary OTC cold medicine, cough medicine or fever reducer. Since it contains acetaminophen, overdose is a possibility and unfortunately it is abused for its sedation and dissociative properties. Which are both life-threatening and should be taken seriously. Addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world.

Without proper addiction treatment, individuals who struggle with addiction may face legal trouble, health problems, and many other serious issues. Therefore, if your loved one struggles with alcohol addiction or abuses DayQuil, then you need to help them find the right addiction recovery center before it’s too late. Contact us today and start the journey of living a better life.

Published on: 2022-03-31
Updated on: 2024-06-27