Compare Robitussin vs. Delsym

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

Robitussin
(guaifenesin)

Delsym
(dextromethorphan)

Breaks up mucus that causes cough. Robitussin (Guaifenesin) is a useful medicine for loosening congestion in your chest and throat, but it doesn't last as long as other guaifenesin products.Relieves coughing. Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a good option for treating dry cough. It's not safe to take with MAO inhibitors though.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Robitussin (guaifenesin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Delsym
63%
+37% better vs. Robitussin
32%
+8% better vs. Robitussin
12%
+12% better vs. Robitussin
127 reviews
Have you used Delsym (dextromethorphan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RobitussinDelsym

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

FDA side effect reports for Robitussin »

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

FDA side effect reports for Delsym »
How it works
RobitussinDelsym
Robitussin (Guaifenesin) is an expectorant. It contains guaifenesin, which thins and loosens mucus, making it easier to cough out.Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a cough suppressant.
Type of medication
RobitussinDelsym
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
RobitussinDelsym
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid extended release
Used for
RobitussinDelsym
Risk factors for serious side effects
RobitussinDelsym
    Detailed Robitussin (guaifenesin) risks & warnings »
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    Detailed Delsym (dextromethorphan) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    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.

    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.

    Upsides and benefits
    RobitussinDelsym
    • Robitussin (Guaifenesin) reduces the thickness and amount of mucus in your throat and chest.
    • It’s available at the drugstore either by itself or in combination with other medications to treat cold and flu symptoms.
    • Available in multiple forms.
    • Can be used in children 12 years and older.
    • 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.
    Downsides and risks
    RobitussinDelsym
    • Robitussin (Guaifenesin) doesn't last as long as other products that contain guaifenesin. Mucinex's extended release form lasts 12 hours and Robitussin (Guaifenesin)'s lasts 8 hours.
    • You need to drink a lot of fluids while taking this medication or it won't work as well.
    • Robitussin (Guaifenesin) isn’t useful if you have a dry cough.
    • Can cause nausea, headache, and an upset stomach.
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    RobitussinDelsym
    • Drink plenty of fluids while taking Robitussin (Guaifenesin) because liquid helps break down mucus.
    • Steam from a humidifier, cool mist vaporizer, or hot shower can also help add moisture to your airways.
    • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
    • If your cough lasts more than 7 days, call your doctor.
    • Robitussin (Guaifenesin) only works for coughs with mucus, so don't use it if you have a dry cough.
    • 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.
    Learn more
    More about RobitussinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Robitussin (guaifenesin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about DelsymSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Delsym (dextromethorphan)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it