What You Need to Know About NyQuil

NyQuil is a very popular medication used to treat cold and flu symptoms. Find out if it is right for you and your symptoms.

Pouring some cough syrup
Antonio_Diaz / Getty Images

Active Ingredients (in each 15ml tablespoon)


  • Adults - Two tablespoons every six hours as needed for cold and flu symptoms. Do not take more than four doses in 24 hours.
  • Children - Ask a doctor.

Uses for Nyquil

Temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms including:

  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

Side Effects of Nyquil

  • Drowsiness
  • Excitability, especially in children


  • Do not consume if you drink more than three alcoholic drinks a day. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage. Ask your doctor if you should take acetaminophen if you regularly drink more than three alcoholic drinks per day.
  • Do not use with other medications containing acetaminophen.
  • Do not use this medication if you are taking an MAOI (medication for depression, psychiatric, emotional conditions or Parkinson's disease) or for two weeks after stopping an MAOI.

Ask a Doctor Before Use

  • If you have glaucoma
  • If you have a cough that produces a lot of mucus
  • If you have a breathing problem or chronic cough that is caused by asthma, smoking, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • If you have trouble urinating because of an enlarged prostate
  • If you are taking sedatives or tranquilizers
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding


Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • Pain or cough worsens or lasts more than seven days
  • Fever worsens or lasts more than three days
  • Redness or swelling is present in area causing pain
  • New symptoms occur
  • Cough returns or occurs with a rash or headache that won't go away

Other NyQuil Information

Do not take this product when you have to operate machinery, drive a vehicle or perform other tasks that require alertness.

Nyquil is likely to make you very drowsy; be sure you can devote time to sleep before taking this product.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Label. Vicks Nyquil Cold and Flu - acetaminophen, dextromethorphan hydobromide, and doxylamine succinate capsule, liquid filled. DailyMed. Updated January 23, 2012. 

  2. Vicks. Vicks Nyquil FAQ.

  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Acetaminophen: avoiding liver injury. Updated June 24, 2009.