How Long Does DayQuil Last: A Complete Guide

how long does dayquil last

This article is solely focused on how long does DayQuil last in the body.  

 DayQuil is one of the most popular day to day drugs that we use on times of slight fevers, body aches, headaches or a runny nose. Its availability over the counter, rapid action and non-drowsy formula has helped it to gain immense popularity across the globe. 

What is DayQuil?

DayQuil is an OTC (Over The Counter) drug which is used to provide rapid multi-symptom relief in cases of fever, sore throat, body pain, congested nose etc. It is one of the very popular Vicks products and is meant to be used during the daytime due to its non-drowsy formulation and rapid action. Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan and phenylephrine are its main constituents which provide symptomatic relief.

 It is available in liquid, liquicaps, caplets etc forms, and in varying strengths so that one can use it according to their disease severity. Also available in infant and adult versions.

Uses of DayQuil

DayQuil is mainly used to get symptomatic relief during the daytime from the following ailments:-

  • Non-viral Fever
  • Mild to moderate pains
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congested Nose
  • Common Cold
  • Flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis

It doesn’t help in symptoms caused by asthma or emphysema.

How to use DayQuil?

DayQuil is mainly available in forms such as Liquid, Liquicaps, Capsules, Caplets etc. and can be taken with food or water. Doesn’t matter if it is taken before or after meals. Use with alcohol is restricted because of severe and fatal side effects. Shouldn’t be used simultaneously with MAO inhibitors such as Selegiline, Rasagiline, Linezolid etc.

DayQuil caplets can be taken 2 per hour hours, and if the liquid is taken, 30ml per hours can be taken. Maximum 4 doses can be taken in a span of 24 hours.

Ingredients present in DayQuil

The ingredients that are present in DayQuil are :

  1. Active Ingredients:
  • Acetaminophen acts as an analgesic and antipyretic
  • Dextromethorphan acts as a cough suppressant
  • Guaifenesin acts as an expectorant
  • Phenylephrine acts as a nasal decongestant
  1. 2 Other Ingredients:
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Distilled water
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sucrose
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Citric acid
  • Glycerine

How long does DayQuil take to kick in?

DayQuil is absorbed quite rapidly from the gut wall, and it starts working in about 30 minutes. The peak concentration of the drug is reached in blood in about 1 hour, and the half-life is about 4 hours. It is metabolised in the body by sulfation and Glucuronidation and is excreted slowly from the body. Guaifenesin has the fastest half-life and is excreted totally by 6 hours. All the components of DayQuil are excreted from the body by 22 hours approximately.

How Long Does DayQuil Last in your body

How long does DayQuil last in your system?

DayQuil has mainly 4 ingredients – Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan, Guaifenesin and Phenylephrine. These four components have different half-lives in plasma – Guaifenesin has the shortest half-life of about 1 hour, while Dextromethorphan has the longest one spanning up to 6 hours. The peak level of the drug in plasma is reached by 1-2 hours, and the effects start to wane after about 4 hours. 

Thus DayQuil can be taken after every 4 hours, but not more than 4 doses in a span of 24 hours. The components of DayQuil are excreted completely from the body by 22-24 hours.

The side effects of DayQuil

DayQuil is generally a safe drug with minimal side effects and that is why it is available over the counter, without any prescription. However, it can show certain side-effects in incompatible persons and normal people on an overdose or due to prolonged use. The common side effects are:-

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes with peeling
  • Dark urine
  • Insomnia
  • Restless and anxiety
  • Liver damage in consumption with alcohol

Final words

DayQuil is a no doubt a day saver for us, time and again. It’s rapid action and minimal side effects on the body have made it one of the most successful products ever marketed by Vicks. This article on how long does DayQuil last in the body is aimed to make readers aware of the actions, uses, effects, ingredients and pharmacodynamics of the drug.

DayQuil can be used as often as once per four hours, but one shouldn’t take more than four doses ( each dose consists of 2 caplets or 30 ml of liquid ) in a span of 24 hours. Prolonged use is also injurious and while administering to infants or children below 10 years, special care must be taken always.