Dayquil and Alcohol

Table of Contents

  1. What is Dayquil?
  2. Dayquil After Drinking?
  3. Risks of Dayquil and Alcohol
  4. Dayquil and Alcohol are Dangerous
  5. Treating Dayquil and Alcohol

What is Dayquil?

Dayquil, a popular cold medicine, is typically used as a decongestant, cough suppressant, and fever reducer. Dayquil, much like its drowsy counter-part Nyquil, isn't recommended for children younger than 4. We're going to cover everything you need to know about alcohol and Dayquil as well as Dayquil and alcohol side effects.

Dayquil Ingredients


Dextromethorphan is one of the better-known ingredients in cough medicine. It's a cough suppressant and sedative from the same chemical family as morphine. In recommended doses, it numbs the throat and senses. However, in excess, it can act as a powerful dissociative and hallucinogenic agent.


Phenylephrine is a decongestant that is suggested to be used as a nasal spray. Studies have shown that oral intake of this drug has reduced efficiency.


Acetaminophen acts mainly as a moderate pain reliever and fever reducer. It's also known as paracetamol.

Can You Drink After Taking Dayquil?

Alcohol and Dayquil are not recommended to be taken together. Alcohol and Dayquil both have sedative properties which can result in serious medical injury, including long-term liver damage. Furthermore, alcohol suppresses the immune system which results in prolonged, more severe cold, and flu symptoms.

How Long Should You Wait Before Taking a Drink?

Dayquil is active in the system for 4-6 hours depending on individual health variables. While mixing Dayquil and alcohol is not advised; you could have a drink after 4-6 hours from your last Dayquil medication dosage.   However, a single drink of alcohol can last in the body for 3 hours. So it's not advised to take additional Dayquil after having alcohol. The time between Dayquil and alcohol intake can vary based on the individual.

The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Dayquil

Mixing Dayquil and alcohol has many adverse bodily effects, including  
  • Liver damage
  • Convulsions
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe vomiting
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Risk of developing alcohol/cough medicine dependency
  • Nausea
  • Increased risk of hypertension

Dayquil and Alcohol Side Effects

Mixing Dayquil and alcohol also has many dangerous side effects, including  
  • Dissociation
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Dizziness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Overdose
  Dayquil and alcohol can also trigger underlying health issues, like irregular heartbeats, depression, and more.

Dangers of Dayquil and Alcohol

The long-term dangers of Dayquil and alcohol's side effects are well researched; specifically, the dangers of liver damage, hypertension, and convulsions. Because of the many effects of mixing Dayquil and alcohol, an overdose can occur in even the healthiest of individuals. Mixing Dayquil and alcohol is never advised.

Can You Die from Drinking Dayquil and Alcohol?

The body can overdose on Dayquil and alcohol for several reasons. The severity of Dayquil and alcohol side effects can vary but here are the most common causes of a fatal event.

Acetaminophen Overdose

Acetaminophen, one of the active ingredients in Dayquil, is the main cause of liver damage and acute liver failure. Additionally, an overdose can occur after taking too much in a single sitting or by exceeding the dosage for multiple days. Lastly, acetaminophen occurs in many household drugs such as Tylenol. It's not recommended to mix medicines due to the varying levels of acetaminophen.

Alcohol Overdose

The dissociative effects of Dayquil lead to greater alcohol consumption. Mixing Dayquil and alcohol results in decreased liver function so the body is unable to breakdown alcohol at a normal rate.

Dayquil and Alcohol Treatment

Dayquil and alcohol treatment is the first step on the road to recovery. If you or anyone you know requires rehabilitation, help is available. Contact your doctor or an addiction treatment facility for information.



If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at (888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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Our goal is long-term recovery.

This means our addiction recovery program is designed to help prevent relapses and continue sobriety outside of our facility. Call (888) 744-9969 to let us know how Blueprints for Recovery can help you and your family.

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