Nyquil is an over-the-counter medication produced by Procter & Gamble that was first introduced in 1966. Nyquil is intended to treat nighttime cold and flu symptoms, including sneezing, sore throat, headache, minor aches and pains, fever, runny nose, and cough. Procter & Gamble recommends that adults and children over the age of 12 take one dose of Nyquil every 6 hours while symptoms last. Patients should not exceed four servings in 24 hours.
NyQuil has three active ingredients:
Doxylamine succinate, like many antihistamines, is a depressant and has a sedative effect.
NyQuil is produced as a liquid cough syrup as well as in liquicap (liquid inside capsule) form. There is also a severe formula of NyQuil available to treat advanced symptoms of the common cold and flu. Procter & Gamble also produces DayQuil, a daytime cold medicine containing a similar formula to NyQuil without the sedative effects.
NyQuil Liquid contains 10 percent alcohol. According to Procter & Gamble, the alcohol in NyQuil is used as a solvent to keep the top three ingredients in liquid form.
Other ingredients in NyQuil include polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol, sodium citrate, flavor, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Other varieties of NyQuil are alcohol-free, including NyQuil LiquiCaps and Alcohol-Free NyQuil Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid.
Rehab facilities are open and accepting new patients
One of NyQuil's main ingredients is dextromethorphan or DXM. Some people abuse DXM for recreation. Abusers swallow DXM in its original form or mix it with soda and candy for flavor, called "robo-tripping," "skittling," or "dexing." It can also be snorted or injected. Abusers of DXM often combine it with other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana.
DXM produces a similar effect to that of hallucinogenic drugs like PCP or ketamine when taken in high doses. It indirectly causes a pleasurable increase in the amount of dopamine in the brain's reward pathway. Users describe effects ranging from mild stimulation to alcohol- or marijuana-like intoxication. At high doses, users report feeling sensations of physical distortion and hallucinations. Individuals develop an addiction when craving and repeatedly seeking to experience those feelings.
Even users who use NyQuil for its intended purpose may develop a dependency on the drug. Signs that the user has developed a tolerance to the drug include needing to take a larger amount or more frequent doses to achieve the same effect.
Symptoms of NyQuil addiction include:
Misuse of NyQuil also includes taking too much of it or taking it for the wrong reasons, such as treating asthma, insomnia, or chronic bronchitis. NyQuil is meant to treat short-term symptoms and is not a cure for long-term health problems. NyQuil is not a safe treatment for insomnia and should not be used as a sleep aid.
Individuals can develop a dependency on NyQuil and may experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut back on use. Signs of a NyQuil dependency include being unable to sleep without NyQuil long after the cold or flu symptoms have passed.
Symptoms of NyQuil withdrawal may include:
NyQuil and alcohol should never be consumed together. Procter & Gamble warns that severe liver damage may occur if NyQuil is taken with three or more alcoholic beverages. However, due to the many short-term side effects and long-term risks, consuming any amount of alcohol with NyQuil is not recommended.
Mixing NyQuil with alcohol produces a variety of side effects. Because NyQuil and alcohol cause many of the same side effects, including sedation, coordination issues, and elevated heart rate. Combining the two substances can cause these side effects to be more substantial.
The short-term side effects of mixing NyQuil and alcohol include:
Alcohol also impairs the body's immune system, making it harder for the body to recover from illness. An impaired immune system can cause NyQuil to be ineffective at treating cold symptoms, leading to further infection.
Long-term consequences of mixing NyQuil and alcohol include liver damage and addiction.
At high doses, drinking alcohol with NyQuil is extremely dangerous and can lead to overdose and death.
Mixing NyQuil and alcohol is very dangerous. The risks of mixing NyQuil and alcohol include:
NyQuil contains acetaminophen, which is hard on the liver. Alcohol is also toxic to the liver, and combining the two can cause severe damage or lead to overdose.
Treatment options for alcohol and NyQuil addiction include inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. The right program depends on the severity of the addiction. These programs may use behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management to treat alcohol and NyQuil addiction.
You don’t have to overcome your addiction alone. Professional guidance and support is available. Begin a life of recovery by reaching out to a specialist today.
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