Mucinex 600-milligram tablets are an over-the-counter medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of conditions such as the common cold or chest congestion. The primary ingredient in Mucinex is guaifenesin, and the pills help break up mucus that congests the chest area so the patient can better clear their airways through coughing.
How it Works
Mucinex 600 is known as an expectorant, according to MedlinePlus. The primary active ingredient of guaifensin thins mucus in the air passages so the person can cough it up or blow it out through their nose. Mucinex and similar products do not heal a cold, cough or flu, but speed recovery and possibly prevent complications. The ability to cough up or blow out mucus can stop fluid buildup which can cause more serious conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Mucinex 600 is not for everybody, according to MedlinePlus. Children under 4 years old should not be given Mucinex or any other product containing guaifenesin, as it puts them at risk for death. Some children ages 4 to 11 can take Mucinex, but the parent or guardian is strongly encouraged to carefully read the packaging for instructions and possibly discuss such treatment with a doctor or pharmacist.
Some adults should not take Mucinex 600 or consult with a doctor before doing so, according to MedlinePlus. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid guaifenesin medications. People who smoke or have asthma or other lung and heart problems may want to find an alternative cough treatment. Those with kidney disease, chronic bronchitis and phenylketonuria (PKU) should also consider avoiding Mucinex 600. In addition, be sure to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking the over-the-counter drug if you are taking other medications. This ensures Mucinex 600 will not negatively interact with any other medication.
Possible Side Effects
Mucinex 600 and other guaifenesin products can cause side effects and even allergic reaction, according to MedlinePlus. Headache, nausea and vomiting are all possible when taking the medication, but do not usually require immediate medical help unless these symptoms persist or are severe. Hives, trouble breathing, itching and a skin rash may indicate an allergic reaction and requires prompt medical intervention.
Mucinex 600 is rarely covered by health insurance prescription plans. However, patients may want to check with their health-care insurance company. As of August 2009, the over-the-counter cash cost for 40 Mucinex 600 tablets was approximately $21.