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I've been getting over a chest cold, most of the worst symptoms are gone (like the sinus headache and tiredness). However, I tend to have a bit of congestion that hangs around for a couple weeks after the other symptoms clear up.

I found that mucinex (guaifenesin) seems to help me with this since it thins the mucous in the lungs. Is it safe to take this to be more comfortable on longer rides? Is there anything I should be careful of?

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closed as off-topic by freiheit Jun 28 '13 at 15:57

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "General health and medical advice is off-topic here; you should contact a qualified medical professional instead." – freiheit
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Plain old Mucinex (without the "-D" suffix) is guaifenesin, one of the most innocuous drugs in existence. Unless you have a peculiar (and rare) reaction to it, it should be about as safe as one can hope for. In fact, I'd recommend it if you ride in dry or dusty conditions.

Mucinex-D, on the other hand, contains a decongestant that can cause drowsiness and other such symptoms in a substantial minority of patients. (And I believe it can also be picked up in pro sports drug tests.) You should take that while riding only after you've established that you don't react to it (and you're not in pro competition).

Also, of course, if you find yourself getting congested on rides that's a likely sign that you need to drink more water.

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Good advice on avoiding the 'decongestant' version. –  Benzo Jun 27 '13 at 16:24
    
You have a lot of medical knowledge, Daniel. Out of interest, are you qualified medically? –  James Bradbury Jun 27 '13 at 18:50
    
@JamesBradbury - Only qualified to the extent that I have so many medical problems I have to learn about these things. –  Daniel R Hicks Jun 27 '13 at 22:09
    
The -D version is not completely clear for "in-competetion" in the DRO, it's conditional and may require you to be below a particular level or have a waiver (if using with a waivered diuretic). WADA lists it as a stimulant. Bottom line, if you are competing in a sanctioned event, do your research. –  Ken Hiatt Jun 28 '13 at 7:26

NB: I am not a doctor nor a pharmacist. If there is ANY doubt, ask them first. If you are taking ANY other medication, definitely check for interactions. That said...

You should be good. As with all medications, you will want to see how it affects YOU. I've just read the Mucinex label and the only warning it has is the standard "ask doctor before taking if pregnant".

Also just checked the Global DRO (with settings for US Cycling) and Mucinex is NOT prohibited for either in-competetion or out-of-competition and is not on the WADA prohibited list. If you are a competitive athlete in another country or another sport you would want to re-check. (US cycling search at link below.)

http://www.globaldro.com/us-en/search/BrandStatus.aspx?brandid=51050&countryid=3&sportid=32&exact=0&searchid=1027508&userid=1&show=All&search=mucinex&newSearch=false

Happy Riding.

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