Tussionex contains chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine, and hydrocodone, a narcotic cough suppressant. Its primary use is for the treatment of stuffy or runny nose, coughing, and sneezing caused by the common cold or flu.
Hydrocodone is believed to work directly on the cough center. And by reducing the natural chemical histamine in the body, chlorpheniramine dries up secretions from the eyes, nose, and throat, and reduces itching and swelling.
Because hydrocodone is a narcotic, albeit a relatively mild one, it has been known that Tussionex can impair your thinking or reactions and can be habit forming. It should therefore not be taken if you will be driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert. Tussionex should also not be shared or given to anyone with a history of addiction or drug abuse.
On April 30, 2009, however, a US Food and Drug Administration FDA public health advisory alerted healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to additional important information on the safe and appropriate use of Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension, including:
- Tussionex should not be given to children less than 6 years old there are reports of death caused by respiratory depression in patients less than 6 years old who were given Tussionex.
- Patients should not take, and healthcare professionals should not prescribe Tussionex more often than every 12 hours - taking Tussionex more often than every 12 hours may result in a narcotic overdose.
- Patients and Healthcare professionals who prescribe Tussionex should be aware of the signs of hydrocodone overdose, which include trouble breathing, slow or shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, severe sleepiness, cold and/or clammy skin, trouble talking or walking, or feeling faint, dizziness, or confusion. If these signs occur, get medical attention at once.
- Doses of Tussionex should be measured a spoon or syringe specifically designed to measure liquid medicine. Pharmacies offer devices designed to accurately measure Tussionex.
The patient or caregiver should also get immediate medical attention if the patient suffers painful urination, urinates less than the usual frequency or amount, hallucinates, or behaves unusually.
Other potential side effects associated with the use of Tussionex include:
- dizziness, drowsiness or trouble concentrating;
- mood changes
- blurred vision
- loss of appetite
- nausea, constipation, vomiting
- dry throat or mouth
- mild itching or skin rash
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of using Tussionex, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.