Can You Take NyQuil During the Day?

NyQuil is one of the best medications for the flu or cold. It is formulated for the night, whereas DayQuil is formulated for the day. If you don’t have DayQuil, then, can you take NyQuil during the day?

You can take NyQuil during the day, provided you are aware that it can make you feel tired and drowsy. NyQuil contains doxylamine, which is sedating and will make you drowsy. So you can take NyQuil during the day but it will make you tired.

If you do take NyQuil during the day, avoid doing activities that require you to be mentally alert (examples: driving and operating heavy machinery). A single dose of NyQuil will last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.

Read on to find out if you can take NyQuil during the day. Find out more about NyQuil dosage, its side effects, and more.

Can You Take NyQuil During the Day?

NyQuil is a cough and cold medicine that is specially formulated to be used at night. You can take NyQuil during the day but the sedating effects of its ingredients will make you feel tired.

Because it can cause tiredness and drowsiness, it is recommended only to take it during the night or when you are at home, resting. If you take NyQuil during the day, avoid doing activities that need your mental alertness, like driving.

Other coughs and cold medications do not cause drowsiness and are specifically meant to be taken during the daytime. Among these is DayQuil, also a product by Vicks. DayQuil has the active ingredients acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine.

Keep in mind that NyQuil was formulated as a multi-symptom relief medication to be used at night.

What Is NyQuil?

NyQuil is a medication manufactured and sold by Vicks to treat cough, colds, and flu symptoms like the following:

  • Fever,
  • Headache,
  • Cough,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Sore throat, and
  • Mild body aches.

It was formulated to be taken at night as it contains ingredients that can cause drowsiness.

NyQuil is a medicine that can be purchased over-the-counter without requiring a doctor’s prescription. It is generally safe to use for adults and children over six years old.

Active Ingredients

NyQuil lists the following as its active ingredients:

  • Acetaminophen,
  • Dextromethorphan, and
  • Doxylamine.

Acetaminophen is a fever and pain reducer, while Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Lastly, Doxylamine is an antihistamine. Doxylamine is the ingredient in NyQuil that makes you sleepy.

Like antihistamine Benadryl (diphenhydramine), doxylamine is a first-generation antihistamine that causes drowsiness and sedation. Each dose of NyQuil will last four to six hours.

Almost all antihistamines cause drowsiness, but they give relief and comfort to several symptoms that come with a cold. The doxylamine in NyQuil will give relief to itchy and watery eyes.

Because antihistamines have drying properties, they can also act to reduce post-nasal drip and runny nose.

Doxylamine is often used as a sleep aid by itself. That is how sedating it is. Some sleep aids use doxylamine as an active ingredient.

NyQuil also lists alcohol (10% by volume) as an ingredient. Alcohol may also cause drowsiness.

It’s important to note that NyQuil is available in an alcohol-free formula. This kind uses a different antihistamine. It uses chlorpheniramine instead of doxylamine.

Chlorpheniramine can also cause drowsiness, but it is less sedating than doxylamine. Like Doxylamine, it also combats runny nose and watery or red eyes.

What Happens When You Take NyQuil During the Day?

The effects of each dosage of NyQuil will last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. NyQuil was formulated to be taken at night because it contains an antihistamine that will cause drowsiness and tiredness. If you take this during the day, it may alter your mental alertness.

Can I take NyQuil during the day? If you’re staying home and resting for the day, it will be okay to take NyQuil. However, it is best to avoid taking NyQuil during the day if you’ll drive or operate heavy machinery.

How to Take NyQuil

To take NyQuil, you should always follow exactly as it is directed on the label or as prescribed by your doctor. You must not use longer than what has been recommended. Cough, colds, and flu medications are often taken for a short period of time only until your symptoms ease up.

1. Do Not Exceed the Recommended Dosage

Do not exceed the recommended dosage. NyQuil contains acetaminophen, and overdose of the drug may cause liver damage or even death.

2. If the Symptoms Do Not Ease Up, Call Your Doctor

If your symptoms do not ease up or clear up or if you still have a sore throat after 2 days, stop taking NyQuil and call your doctor. Do the same if you still have a fever, a rash occurs, or you experience nausea and vomiting. You might need more medications or treatment.

3. Use a Measuring Spoon or Cup

If you take NyQuil liquid preparation, use a measuring spoon or medicine cup to get the exact dosage. You may ask your pharmacist for one.

4. Inform Your Doctor That You Took Nyquil Before Surgery or Test

If you’re taking a medical test or undergoing surgery, inform your surgeon or doctor beforehand that you took NyQuil medicine in the past few days.

What Happens When I Miss a Dose of NyQuil?

can you take NyQuil during the day

NyQuil is a medicine that is used as needed. You can actually take NyQuil without being on a dosing schedule. However, if you are on NyQuil on a dosing schedule and miss a dose, you still have to take it.

However, if it is too close to the next dose, you should skip the missed dose and continue with the scheduled amounts. Do not double up the next dose or add extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What Happens If I Overdose on NyQuil?

NyQuil contains acetaminophen, and an overdose of acetaminophen can be fatal. If you overdose on NyQuil, seek medical emergency attention right away.

Acetaminophen overdose symptoms will manifest as nausea, loss of appetite, pain in the stomach, sweating, and vomiting. You may also experience dark-colored urine and jaundice in your skin and eyes.

What Should I Avoid While Taking NyQuil?

Before using any cold or allergy medicine, ask a doctor if it is safe for you to take. Acetaminophen can be found in a lot of multi-symptom medicines. Always read the product label to know what is actually in the drug.

1. Do Not Double the Dosage

Make sure you do not double the dosages of any drugs by taking various medicines together. Note that taking too much acetaminophen can lead to a fatal overdose.

2. Don’t Drink Alcoholic Beverages

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages while you’re taking any medication with acetaminophen. By doing so, may increase your risk of getting liver damage.

3. Avoid Activities That Needs You to Be Mentally Alert

NyQuil may cause your vision to blur and may affect your mental alertness. Avoid driving, operating heavy equipment, and doing things that require you to be mentally alert.

Possible NyQuil Side Effects (Next Day)

All medications will have side effects. If you experience hives or any other reaction such as breathing difficulty, face, tongue, throat, and lips swelling, seek emergency medical treatment right away.

NyQuil contains acetaminophen. Acetaminophen can, in sporadic cases, cause a skin reaction that could be fatal. This reaction can occur anytime you take acetaminophen, even if you already took it in the past.

If you develop skin rashes or redness with blistering, seek emergency treatment immediately. If you get this reaction, you need to stop taking any medication that contains acetaminophen.

These NyQuil side effects (next day) may occur, but are uncommon, with taking acetaminophen:

  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Uneven and fast heartbeat
  • Tremor
  • Hallucinations and confusion
  • Severe dizziness
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Bruising easily, unusual bleeding.
  • Upper stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite
  • Dark urine, little or no urine, clay-colored stools

These are the usual side effects of acetaminophen:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
  • Mild skin rash

The above lists are not the complete side effects of acetaminophen. Ask your doctor about taking acetaminophen and the possible side effects.

What to Know Before Taking NyQuil

Inform your doctor before taking any medicine that contains acetaminophen if you have or have had liver disease. Inform your doctor also if you consume 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day.

If you have taken any MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor in the last 14 days, do not take NyQuil. Drug interactions can occur with NyQuil and MAOs. Some MAO inhibitors are isocarboxazid, phenelzine, furazolidone, linezolid, tranylcypromine, and rasagiline.

can I take NyQuil during the day

If you have had any allergic reactions to acetaminophen, doxylamine, or dextromethorphan in the past, do not take NyQuil.

If you have any of the following medical conditions, ask your doctor if it is okay for you to take NyQuil:

  • Asthma, COPD, a cough accompanied by thick mucus, a cough caused by excessive smoking, chronic bronchitis
  • Blockage in your intestines, blockage in your stomach
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Prostate problems including an enlarged one
  • Urination problems
  • Glaucoma
  • If you are taking any supplements with potassium

It is uncertain if the active ingredients in NyQuil can be harmful to an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, ask a doctor if it is okay to take any cough and cold medicine.

Cough and cold medicines may pass into breastmilk. So, if you are a breastfeeding mother, avoid taking NyQuil. Studies show that most antihistamines can slow down the production of breast milk.

Consult a doctor before you give NyQuil to a child. Some deaths have occurred from the misuse of some cold medicines in very young children.

If you take NyQuil while taking other medications that can cause drowsiness or slow down your breathing, these effects may become worse. Tell your doctor if you plan to drink NyQuil and you are using a sleeping pill, anxiety and depression medications, or a pain reliever.

Is It Safe to Take Nyquil to Use As an Aid in Sleeping?

More studies are being conducted regarding the safety and effectiveness of NyQuil used as a sleeping aid.

Some studies show that using first-generation antihistamines ( including doxylamine succinate ) can treat insomnia in the short term.

However, there have been no sufficient studies to conclude that doxylamine can be a safe and effective sleep aid drug.

Research shows that some side effects can be caused by doxylamine, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dryness in the mouth, throat, nose
  • Restlessness
  • Congestion in the respiratory system

Studies also show that tolerance to doxylamine can be quickly developed. This means that if you take it too often, doxylamine’s sedating effect can be lessened.

NyQuil contains other ingredients that you do not need to use as a sleeping aid. If you really need a sleep aid, it is better and safer to use an over-the-counter sleep aid to relieve insomnia. NyQuil was primarily formulated to treat coughs and colds, and flu symptoms.

As with all medicines, keep your NyQuil bottle or gel caps out of reach of children. Use the drug only for its indicated purpose and follow dosing instructions.

Conclusion – Can You Take NyQuil During the Day?

You can take NyQuil during the day. However, NyQuil has the ingredient doxylamine which will cause tiredness and drowsiness. This is why it is better to take NyQuil at night.

If you take NyQuil during the day, avoid doing activities that need your mental alertness, like driving.

NyQuil is a cough and cold medicine formulated to be taken at night as it may make you drowsy and tired. This doesn’t mean that you cannot take it during the day at all.

Nyquil is manufactured to treat the following symptoms:

  • Fever,
  • Headache,
  • Cough,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Sore throat, and
  • Mild body aches.

But beware of its known side effects such as:

  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Uneven and fast heartbeat
  • Tremor
  • Hallucinations and confusion
  • Severe dizziness
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Bruising easily, unusual bleeding.
  • Upper stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite
  • Dark urine, little or no urine, clay-colored stools