Last update Aug. 31, 2022

Guaifenesin

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

It is used as an expectorant, alone or in association with other products. Proofs on its effectiveness are sparse (Smith 2014, Reis 2010, Bolser 2006). In some instances, preparations of Guaifenesin may contain alcohol as excipient with a concentration as high as 5%. Oral administration every 4 to 6 hours.

At latest update, relevant published data on excretion into breast milk were not found.

Until more information on this medication is available, other option known to be safer would be recommended, mostly in the post-natal period or in cases of prematurity.

If used while breastfeeding, a moderate use with the lowest dose as possible and avoiding those preparations with alcoholic excipient, should be preferred.

Because effectiveness is poor and likelihood of side effects does exist, especially in multi-association, the US Agency for Drug Administration (FDA) is currently doing efforts for discontinuation of this and others at-the-counter products, that are formulated for cough relief: Guaifenesin, Dextromethorphan, Phenylephrine, Pseudoephedrine, Brompheniramine, etc. (FDA 2015)

Alternatives

  • Acetylcysteine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Ambroxol ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Bromhexine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Guaifenesin is also known as


Guaifenesin in other languages or writings:

Group

Guaifenesin belongs to this group or family:

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Guaifenesin in its composition:

Pharmacokinetics

Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 100 %
Molecular weight 198 daltons
VD 1.7 l/Kg
pKa 13.62 -
Tmax 0.25 hours
1 hours

References

  1. FDA. Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold, and Allergy Products. Unapproved drugs. 2015 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Smith SM, Schroeder K, Fahey T. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults in community settings. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Abstract
  3. AEMPS. Guaifenesina. Ficha técnica. 2013 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Guaifenesin. Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  5. REis AMM, Figueras A. Analysis of the evidence of efficacy and safety of over-the-counter cough medications registered in Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 46: 1. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  6. Bolser DC. Cough suppressant and pharmacologic protussive therapy: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Nice FJ, Snyder JL, Kotansky BC. Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications. J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):319-31. Review. Erratum in: J Hum Lact 2001 Feb;17(1):90. Abstract

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