What is Dayquil?

This is a combinatorial med, widely used to treat the signs of flu and common cold. This med is administered for the treatment of rise in body temperature, episodes of coughing, congestion of nasal pathways, migraines, soreness of throat, etc. As the name suggests, this med can be used during the daytime; this is mainly because its active ingredients seldom make you dizzy or drowsy.

Dayquil contains active chemicals like phenylephrine, dextromethorphan and acetaminophen. Of these, phenylephrine helps decongest your nasal airways; dextromethorphan aids suppression of coughing sensation and acetaminophen enables the regulation of body temperature. Hence, this combination manages spells of fever, coughing and nasal blocks. Clearance of nasal blockages is managed by reducing the inflammation of arteries bringing blood to your airways.

What is Nyquil?

This is also a combination of three important chemicals namely – dextromethorphan, acetaminophen and doxylamine. Of this combination, doxylamine is an antihistamine; this helps control allergic reactions like itchiness of eyes, a runny nose, discharge of watery substances from your eyes, etc. On the other hand, dextromethorphan helps treat coughs while acetaminophen exerts control over body temperature and thus helps bring down fever.

However, Nyquil is not administered for treating incessant spells of coughing (caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases – COPD such as asthma, bronchitis, etc.), or for conditions caused by excessive build-up of mucus inside your nasal airways.


What are the differences between Dayquil and Nyquil?


The key difference in between these two meds is: Dayquil does not cause drowsiness and sleepiness like Nyquil. The most active chemical – phenylephrine – is a decongestant. This helps manage signs of flu and common cold. Nyquil however has doxylamine – this controls histamines. You need to know that histamines are substances your body makes to counter the effects of allergies. These substances are responsible for reactions such as inflammation, itchiness, discoloration of skin, etc. By suppressing these substances (histamines), doxylamine controls all the aforementioned reactions.

Owing to the sedative properties of doxylamine, you may feel excessively drowsy and dizzy soon after using Nyquil. Owing to this, it is used during your bedtime. In some versions of Nyquil, moderate traces of alcohol – to the tune of 9% – are added. However, Dayquil is not made with any of the sedative substances.

It is unsafe to take both these meds at the same timeslot. It is a good practice to use them with a time interval of at least 5 hours. Also, it can be dangerous to use more than 3 doses in total, of these 2 meds within a 24-hour timeline.

It is highly recommended to consult with your caregiver of which drug suits your medical condition most. As various versions of these drugs are made available, proper guidance is required on this front. Last but not least, if you are living with only a single discomfort – say, a stuffy nasal pathway or cough, stay away from using combinatorial treatment such as Nyquil or Dayquil. If you need more inputs, seek needful inputs from a qualified medical professional.

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