Compare Delsym vs. Unisom

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

Delsym
(Dextromethorphan)

Unisom Sleeptabs
(Doxylamine)

Relieves coughing. Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a good option for treating dry cough. It's not safe to take with MAO inhibitors though.Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can help you get a good night's sleep, but you can have a hard time waking up if you don't give yourself enough time to sleep.
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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 Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
58%
6% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
32%
+1% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
11%
+1% vs. Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
Side effects
DelsymUnisom

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

FDA side effect reports for Delsym »

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »
How it works
DelsymUnisom
Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a cough suppressant.Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.
Type of medication
DelsymUnisom
Cough suppressantOver-the-counter
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Prescription or OTC
Available as
DelsymUnisom
  • Pill
  • Liquid extended release
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
DelsymUnisom
Risk factors for serious side effects
DelsymUnisom
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
Detailed Delsym (Dextromethorphan) risks & warnings »
  • Using other drugs with similar ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years or younger
  • Enlarged prostate
  • History of bladder problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Nursing mothers
Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DelsymUnisom
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.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
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.
  • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
  • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
  • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
  • People age 65 years and older have a higher risk of side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine). Watch for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. The drowsiness caused by Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can make you "unsteady" on your feet, leading to a higher chance of falls.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DelsymUnisom
  • 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.
  • Works well to help you fall asleep and doesn't make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Downsides and risks
DelsymUnisom
  • 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.
  • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DelsymUnisom
  • 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
  • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
Learn more
More about DelsymSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert