How Do Cough Cold Non-narcotic Combos Work?

Reviewed on 9/29/2021


Cough/cold non-narcotic combo drugs are used for treating cough, cold, and flu symptoms. Non-narcotic combos consist of a combination of analgesics, antihistamines, decongestants, or expectorants. As these combinations do not contain a narcotic drug, they prevent the adverse effects of narcotics.

Analgesics block pain signal generation and generation of prostaglandins from the central nervous system released during fever, inflammation, or pain. Thus, blocking the generation of prostaglandins helps in reducing pain, inflammation, or fever.

Antihistamines block the release of a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for the itching and swelling of tissues in the nose. This helps in relieving runny noses and sneezing during a cold.

Decongestants work in the following ways:

Expectorants help thin the mucus and loosen congestion in the chest and throat, making it easier to cough up the mucus.


Cough/cold non-narcotic combo drugs are used for treating cough, cold, and flu symptoms.


Cough/cold non-narcotic combos can cause the following side effects:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.


Which illness is known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection? See Answer


Generic and brand names of cough/cold non-narcotic combos include:

  • Acetaminophen/chlorpheniramine
  • Acetaminophen/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Acetaminophen/dextromethorphan
  • Acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine/guaifenesin
  • Acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine
  • Acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine/guaifenesin
  • Acetaminophen/diphenhydramine
  • Acetaminophen/diphenhydramine/dextromethorphan
  • Acetaminophen/doxylamine/dextromethorphan
  • Acetaminophen/doxylamine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Acetaminophen/doxylamine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Effervescent
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Non-Drowsy
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Cold
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Severe Cold, Cough & Flu
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Sinus Congestion, Allergy & Cough
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Flu
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold Formula
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Severe Cold, Cough & Flu
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Sinus Congestion, Allergy & Cough
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Sinus Congestion & Cough
  • Aspirin/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan
  • Aspirin/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Bromfed-DM
  • Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine
  • Broncotron-D Suspension
  • Capmist DM Tablets
  • Children's Dimetapp Cold & Cough
  • Children's Dimetapp Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu
  • Children's Mucinex Cold, Cough & Sore Throat
  • Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold
  • Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold & Fever
  • Children's Robitussin Cough & Cold CF
  • Children's Robitussin Cough & Cold Long-Acting
  • Children's Triaminic Cough & Sore Throat Daytime
  • Children's Tylenol Plus Cough & Sore Throat
  • Chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan
  • Chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
  • Chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine
  • Contac Cold + Flu Night Cooling Relief
  • Coricidin HBP Cold & Flu
  • Coricidin HBP Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold
  • Deconex DMX Tablets
  • Delsym Cough + Cold Daytime
  • Dextromethorphan/phenylephrine/guaifenesin
  • Dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine/guaifenesin
  • Diabetic Tussin Nighttime Cold & Flu
  • Dimaphen DM
  • Excedrin PM
  • ExeFen DMX Tablets
  • Father John's Medicine Plus Liquid
  • Forte Kidkare Cough and Cold
  • Goody's PM
  • Midol PM
  • Mucinex Fast-Max Cold, Flu & Sore Throat
  • Mucinex Fast-Max Severe Congestion & Cough
  • Neo DM Suspension
  • NeoTuss Plus Liquid
  • Pedia Relief
  • Percogesic
  • Percogesic Extra Strength
  • Q-Tussin CF Liquid
  • Rescon DM
  • Robafen CF Liquid
  • Robitussin Peak Cold Maximum Strength Multi-Symptom Cold
  • Robitussin Peak Cold Multi-Symptom Cold
  • St. Joseph Cold & Flu
  • St. Joseph Cough & Cold
  • Sudafed PE Cold & Cough
  • Theraflu Daytime Severe Cold & Cough
  • Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe
  • Tylenol Cold Day Non-Drowsy
  • Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Daytime
  • Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Severe
  • Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Daytime
  • Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime Liquid
  • Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Severe
  • Tylenol Cold Severe Congestion
  • Tylenol Cough & Sore Throat Daytime
  • Tylenol Cough & Sore Throat Nighttime
  • Tylenol Flu Non-Drowsy Maximum Strength
  • Tylenol PM
  • Vicks DayQuil Cold/Flu
  • Vicks NyQuil
  • Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu
  • Vicks NyQuil D

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors