Compare Unisom vs. Nyquil Cold and Flu

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

Unisom Sleeptabs
(Doxylamine)

Nyquil Cold And Flu
(Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine)

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.Relieves cold and flu symptoms, and helps you sleep. Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a useful combination medicine that relieves cold and flu symptoms and will help you sleep. 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
4.428076256499134Unisom
Reviews for Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
58%
of people say Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is worth it
32%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine)
83%
+25% vs. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
42%
+10% vs. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
6%
+5% vs. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
Side effects
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »

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

FDA side effect reports for Nyquil Cold and Flu »
How it works
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that relieves a runny nose and makes you very sleepy.
Type of medication
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Prescription or OTC
Pain reliever
APAP
Cough suppressantAntihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Over-the-counter
Available as
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
  • 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 »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Glaucoma
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
Detailed Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
UnisomNyquil 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
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
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
  • 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.
  • The antihistamine (doxylamine) will help you sleep.
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
  • 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.
  • Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have watery eyes, a cough, fever, and pain.
  • The cough medicine (dextromethorphan) works well and has very few side effects.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • The antihistamine (doxylamine) will help you sleep.
Downsides and risks
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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
UnisomNyquil Cold and Flu
  • 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.
  • Doxylamine (the antihistamine ingredient) can make you tired, so take it close to bedtime.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
  • 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.
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
  • 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 UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Nyquil Cold and FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert