Compare Delsym vs. DayQuil Cold and Flu

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Delsym
(Dextromethorphan)

Dayquil Cold And Flu
(Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan)

Relieves coughing. Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a good option for treating dry cough. It's not safe to take with MAO inhibitors though.Relieves cold and flu symptoms. Dayquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan) is a useful combination medicine that relieves cold and flu symptoms, but make sure you really need all of its ingredients.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.487394957983193Delsym
Reviews for Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
64%
of people say Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is worth it
31%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Dayquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan)
81%
+17% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
37%
+6% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
5%
+7% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
Side effects
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu

We haven’t found good data for Delsym side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Delsym »

We haven’t found good data for DayQuil Cold and Flu side effects.

FDA side effect reports for DayQuil Cold and Flu »
How it works
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a cough suppressant.Dayquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
Cough suppressantOver-the-counter
Pain reliever
APAP
DecongestantCough suppressantOver-the-counter
Available as
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
  • Pill
  • Liquid extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
Detailed Delsym (Dextromethorphan) risks & warnings »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • History of smoking
Detailed Dayquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
  • Good for treating dry cough.
  • Available in drugstores either by itself or in combination with other medications to treat cold and allergy symptoms.
  • Available as a liquid and a tablet.
  • Some products relieve cough for up to 12 hours.
  • Dayquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine / Dextromethorphan) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, a cough, fever, and pain.
  • The decongestant (phenylephrine) has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine. It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
Downsides and risks
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
  • Can't take dextromethorphan if you're taking MAO inhibitors (drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, depression, and other emotional conditions). If taken together, they will cause dangerously high blood pressure levels.
  • If you're taking this in combination with other cold and allergy medications, you should read labels closely to make sure you're not accidentally taking too much of a single ingredient.
  • If you don't really need all of the medications in this combination, you're taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DelsymDayQuil Cold and Flu
  • Cough suppressant starts working in 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than the recommended dose.
  • If your cough lasts more than 7 days, call your doctor.
  • Phenylephrine, the decongestant, can make you restless, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • If you get the liquid form, use the dosing cup to measure the exact amount of medicine you need.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
  • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days, or if you have a really bad sore throat with a fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting.
Learn more
More about DelsymSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about DayQuil Cold and FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert