My son, a college freshman, likely has walking pneumonia. Today, his second trip to the Health Center in a week, he was prescribed a Z-Pack for his symptoms: hacking cough, fatigue, fever and chills. His cough sounds alarming over the phone and is preventing him from getting much sleep. Can he take Mucinex DM to suppress his cough so he can sleep/rest?
I'm sorry to hear your son's going through this, and I'm glad he sought medical attention.
"Z-pack" is the common name for a particular dosing regimen of azithromycin, which is an antibiotic. Mucinex-DM is the brand name of a combination medication that includes an expectorant (which thins and loosens mucus in the airways) and a cough suppressant. It should be safe to take both the Z-pack and the Mucinex-DM at the same time. In telling you this, I'm assuming your son has no known drug allergies. There are no known interactions between azithromycin and the ingredients in Mucinex.
Yes, those medications are compatible, but Mucinex DM may not quiet his cough as much as you think. The "DM" part is dextromethorophan which is a cough suppressant, but the mucous-thinning aspect of the Mucinex may cause more drainage; thus triggering more coughing. This doesn't happen to everyone, but in some people, it does. Taking a pure cough suppressant, just at night, will help him, but when you have pneumonia, you need to cough periodically to clear your airway.
If he was properly diagnosed, he should be feeling fine soon.
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