What is the purpose of this medication?
Doxylamine is a drug used to cure insomnia for a brief period (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). Sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion caused by the common cold are treated with doxylamine combined with decongestants and other drugs. Doxylamine should not be used to make youngsters sleepy. Doxylamine belongs to the antihistamine class of drugs. It works by preventing histamine, a chemical in the body that produces allergy symptoms, from acting.
What is the best way to take this medication?
Doxylamine is available as a tablet to take by mouth for sleep, as well as a liquid and liquid-filled capsule to treat symptoms of the common cold in combination with other drugs. Doxylamine is commonly used 30 minutes before bedtime to help people fall asleep more easily.
When treating cold symptoms, doxylamine is normally given every 4 to 6 hours. Carefully follow the directions on the product label or your prescription label, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Doxylamine should be taken exactly as prescribed.
Take no more or less of it, or take it more frequently, than your doctor has prescribed or as directed on the package label.
Doxylamine is available as a single medication or in combination with other medications such as pain relievers, fever reducers, and cough suppressants.
If you’re looking for a product to cure your cough or cold symptoms, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which one is best for you.
Before using two or more nonprescription cough and cold medications at the same time, read the labels carefully. These products may contain the same active ingredient(s), which could result in an overdose if taken together.
In young children, nonprescription cough and cold combination medications containing doxylamine can produce serious side effects or death.
Nonprescription doxylamine medications should not be given to children under the age of four, before providing these products to children aged 4 to 12, consult a doctor.
Cough and cold symptoms that worsen or do not go away could indicate a more serious problem. Contact your doctor if your symptoms worsen or remain longer than seven days when using doxylamine with other medications to treat cough and cold symptoms.
If you’re using doxylamine for insomnia, you’ll likely fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for a long period. After taking the drug, plan to sleep for 7 to 8 hours. You may be drowsy if you get up too soon after taking doxylamine.
Doxylamine should only be taken for a limited period to cure insomnia. Talk to your doctor if you think you’ll need to take doxylamine for more than two weeks.
If you’re using the liquid, don’t measure your dose with a regular spoon. Use the measuring cup or spoon that came with the drug or a spoon specifically designed for measuring medications.
Other use for this drug
Other uses for this drug may be prescribed; consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.
What additional precautions should I take?
If you’re going to take doxylamine, be sure you’re ready.
- If you are allergic to doxylamine, any other drugs, or any of the substances in the doxylamine preparation, notify your doctor and pharmacist. For a list of ingredients, consult your doctor or pharmacist, or look on the package label.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you’re taking or planning to take. Make a point of mentioning one or more of the following: Cold, hay fever, and allergy drugs; depression pharmaceuticals; muscle relaxants; narcotic pain treatments; sedatives; sleep medications; and tranquillizers
- Tell your doctor if you have had asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or other respiratory issues; ulcers; difficulty urinating (due to an enlarged prostate gland); heart disease, high blood pressure, seizures, or an overactive thyroid gland.
- If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, notify your doctor. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking doxylamine.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take doxylamine if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.
- You should be aware that this drug may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you have a better understanding of how this drug affects you.
- keep in mind that drinking alcohol can exacerbate the drowsiness induced by this drug. While taking this drug, stay away from alcoholic beverages.
- If you’re 65 or older, talk to your doctor about the risks and advantages of taking doxylamine. Doxylamine should not be given to older adults since it is not as safe or effective as other drugs for the same disease.
Should I follow any special dietary guidelines?
Continue to eat normally unless your doctor advises differently.
What should I do if I forget to take my medication?
Doxylamine is often administered on an as-needed basis. If your doctor has prescribed doxylamine regularly, remember to take the missed dose as soon as possible. If the next amount is approaching, skip the missing dose and return to your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a double dose.
What are the possible negative effects of this medication?
Doxylamine has the potential to induce adverse effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, contact your doctor:
- mouth, nose, and throat are dry
- a rise in chest congestion
Some of the negative effects can be life-threatening. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- issues with vision
- inability to urinate
Other adverse effects of doxylamine are possible. If you have any odd issues while using this drug, contact your doctor.
If you or your doctor notice a serious side effect, you or your doctor can report it to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or over the phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about this medication’s storage and disposal?
Keep this medication tightly wrapped in the container it comes in and out of the reach of children. It should be kept at room temperature, free from heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Because many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can readily open them, it is critical to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children.
To keep small children safe from poisoning, always lock the safety caps and store the medication in a secure location that is out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions should be disposed of in a certain manner to prevent pets, children, and others from ingesting them. You should not, however, dump this drug down the toilet. Instead, a medical take-back programme is an ideal approach to get rid of your medication.
To find out about take-back programs in your area, talk to your pharmacist or call your local garbage/recycling department. If you don’t have access to a take-back program, visit the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information.
In the event of an emergency or an overdose
In the event of an overdose, dial 1-800-222-1222 to reach a poison control centre. If the person has passed out, had a seizure, is having problems breathing, or cannot be woken, dial 911 right once.
What additional details should I be aware of?
Any queries you have concerning doxylamine should be sent to your pharmacist.
Keep a documented note of all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medications you’re taking, as well as any vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements you’re taking. If you visit a doctor or are admitted to a hospital, you should bring this list with you. It’s also useful knowledge to have on hand in case of an emergency.