Learn the various Tussionex side effects

Tussionex is a combination drug that contains Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine is used in the treatment of coughs and other symptoms caused by allergies or common cold. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that helps to relieve symptoms of itchy nose, throat/eyes, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. Hydrocodone is a narcotic cough suppressant that works on the brain's cough center and reduces the urge to cough. Though it is labelled as the only 12 hour liquid cough suppressant approved by the FDA in the drug website, it is capable of creating a number of side effects. However, there is limited information about the potential Tussionex side effects, like many other older medications.

Tussionex side effects:

Tussionex, like many other medications, can cause a number of side effects, which include

1. Gastrointestinal side effects:

Some of the most common gastrointestinal side effects reported from Tussionex use include nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth and throat. It has been noted that, when it is taken for an extended period of time, Tussionex may cause constipation.

The effect of constipation can be prevented by increasing the intake of fiber in the diet and by drinking plenty of water. Alternatively, the health care provider or pharmacist can help in selecting the right stool softener or laxative to prevent constipation. To get relief from dry mouth or throat, sugarless ice chips or hard candy can be sucked, sugarless gums can be chewed, saliva substitutes or water can also be used. If these symptoms persist or get worse, then it is advisable to meet the health care provider immediately and get treated promptly.

2. Mental side effects:

Hydrocodone in Tussionex acts directly on the brain and is responsible for certain nervous side effects such as drowsiness, sedation, lethargy, impairment of mental performance, fear, anxiety, euphoria, dysphoria, mood changes, physical dependence, mental clouding, dizziness, confusions, unusual thoughts and behavior, seizures, hallucinations, and elation.

Mental side effects such as seizures, agitation, and depression caused by Tussionex are very serious enough to consult a heath care provider immediately and get it treated.

3. Respiratory side effects:

Tussionex side effects in the respiratory system include dryness of the pharynx, respiratory depression, slow/shallow breathing, and occasional tightness in the chest. Respiratory depression is often associated with Tussionex overdose. It is a potentially fatal condition that occurs as a result of the drug hindering the brain stem. This causes a build-up of carbon-di-oxide in the blood stream and a dangerous drop in its pH level.

4. Dermatologic side effects:

Tussionex may cause some serious dermatologic side effects in the body including allergic reactions. Signs of allergic reactions include hives, itching, an unexplained rash, breathing difficulty or wheezing, unexplained swelling especially in the lips, mouth or throat, and difficulty in swallowing. Tussionex may also cause pruritis. These dermatologic side effects are very serious and should be reported to the health care provider immediately and get treated promptly.

5. Genitourinary system side effects:

Side effects associated with Tussionex in the genito-urinary system include spasm of vesicle sphincters, ureteral spasm, and urinary retention. But, serious genitourinary side effects like trouble in urinations are potentially serious condition which should be treated by the health care provider immediately.

6. Cardiovascular side effects:

Cardiovascular side effects associated with Tussionex include fast, slow or irregular heartbeat, which is a very serious condition that needs to be treated promptly.

7. Other side effects:

Other side effects associated with Tussionex include impairment in physical performance, and blurred vision.

8. Dependence:

The narcotic, Hydrocodone in Tussionex acts directly on the brain and sometimes cause physical dependence in patients, meaning its discontinuation may result in the development of various withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can after several weeks of use, but can also occur in as little as a few days use. Patients are advised not to discontinue the drug immediately, instead the heath care provider may help patient to wean off the drug over a period of few weeks to avoid withdrawal effects.


Every patient who uses Tussionex will not develop all the side effects listed in this article. Most of the patients tolerate well to the drug. If side effect do occur and become bothersome, it should be notified to the health care provider immediately, who will be able to diagnose the issue and treat the problem promptly.