Can You Take DayQuil at Night?

What is DayQuil?

DayQuil is an over-the-counter medication commonly used to relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, flu, or allergies. It typically contains a combination of active ingredients, which may vary depending on the specific formulation or variant of DayQuil. The ingredients in DayQuil can include:

1.      Acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol): It is a pain reliever and fever reducer.

2.      Dextromethorphan: It is a cough suppressant that helps alleviate coughing.

3.      Phenylephrine: It is a decongestant that helps relieve nasal congestion.

4.      Other ingredients may include antihistamines or expectorants, depending on the specific formulation.

It’s important to read the packaging or label of the DayQuil product you are considering using and follow the recommended dosage instructions. DayQuil can help alleviate common cold or flu symptoms such as fever, headache, nasal congestion, cough, and minor aches and pains. However, it’s essential to use it as directed and not exceed the recommended dosage.

How does it work?

Acetaminophen is a fever reducer and a pain reliever. It works by changing the way your body senses pain. It also changes how your body regulates its temperature. Dextromethorphan suppresses your urge to cough. The third ingredient, phenylephrine, is a nasal decongestant. It reduces the swelling of the blood vessels in your nasal passages.

What are the forms and dosages?

DayQuil comes in liquid-filled capsules called LiquiCaps. It also comes as a liquid that you drink. The following table lists the recommended dosage for each form by age group. Ask your doctor for the correct dosage for children ages 4 to 5 years, and don’t give DayQuil to children who are younger than 4 years.

Recommended dosageLiquiCapsLiquid
Adults and children 12 years and oldertwo capsules every 4 hours as needed, no more than four doses in 24 hours30 mL every 4 hours as needed, no more than 4 doses in 24 hours
Children age 4-5 yearsAsk your doctor15 mL every 4 hours as needed, no more than four doses in 24 hours
Children ages 4-5 yearsAsk your doctorAsk your doctor
Children younger than 4 yearsDo not useDo not use

If your symptoms don’t improve or if they get worse after taking DayQuil for two days, see your doctor.

If you take DayQuil at night will it keep you awake?

Yes, DayQuil does not cause drowsiness and can make some people feel hyper or more alert, this can keep you awake and prevent you from sleeping.

Phenylephrine the active ingredient in DayQuil works by stimulating the alpha-adrenergic receptors which may make it responsible for central nervous system stimulant effects such as restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia.

Can You Take DayQuil at Night?

No, taking DayQuil at night is not recommended because it contains phenylephrine which doesn’t last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). You shouldn’t use DayQuil at night because it can make your heart race or make you feel anxious, make you restless, and cause a sleepless night. DayQuil can make some people feel hyper or more alert if taken at night.

DayQuil can cause other unwanted side effects. Most of these side effects don’t need medical attention. Rather, they may go away as your body adjusts to the medication. You can ask your doctor about any mild side effects you have that are bothersome or don’t go away.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of DayQuil can include:

  • lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping

Also, avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking this drug. Grapefruit juice might increase the levels of dextromethorphan, one of the ingredients in DayQuil. Higher levels increase your chance of side effects such as nervousness and dizziness.

Serious side effects

One serious side effect of DayQuil is an allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • red, peeling, or blistering skin
  • itchiness
  • difficulty breathing
  • trouble swallowing
  • swelling of your face, throat, tongue, or lips
  • swelling of your hands, legs, ankles, or feet

Contact your doctor right away or get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms while taking DayQuil.

Can You Take Dayquil And Melatonin?

Yes, it is generally safe to take DayQuil and melatonin together, as there are no known significant interactions between the two. DayQuil is typically used to relieve cold or flu symptoms, while melatonin is commonly used to promote sleep. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

1.      DayQuil contains active ingredients that may cause drowsiness, such as antihistamines or certain formulations with a sedating effect. Combining DayQuil with melatonin, which also promotes sleepiness, may intensify the drowsiness effect. It’s important to be cautious when engaging in activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.

2.      Melatonin should be taken at an appropriate time to align with your sleep schedule. If you take DayQuil during the day to manage your symptoms, taking melatonin too early could disrupt your daytime wakefulness. It’s best to follow the instructions on the melatonin product and take it in the evening or close to your desired bedtime.

3.      If you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before combining DayQuil and melatonin. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and help ensure there are no contraindications or potential risks.

Remember, it’s essential to use medications and supplements responsibly and as directed. If you have any concerns or questions, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide you with the most appropriate advice for your individual needs.

Can I Take Nyquil 3 Hours After Dayquil?

No, taking NyQuil three hours after DayQuil may not be advisable due to potential overlapping ingredients and the risk of exceeding the recommended dosages of certain active ingredients. Both DayQuil and NyQuil contain multiple active ingredients, such as acetaminophen, cough suppressants, and decongestants, which can be harmful if taken in excess.

It’s important to carefully read the labels and packaging of both products to identify their active ingredients and recommended dosages. If the active ingredients in DayQuil and NyQuil are the same or similar, taking them close together could result in an overdose or increased risk of side effects. For example, both products may contain acetaminophen, and exceeding the maximum daily dose can be harmful to the liver.

To ensure your safety, it’s best to follow the recommended dosing intervals and guidelines provided on the packaging of each product. If you need relief beyond what is recommended, consult a healthcare professional or pharmacist for appropriate advice based on your specific symptoms and medical history.

It’s worth noting that combining multiple medications to address symptoms can sometimes be unnecessary or indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek guidance from a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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