Is Cough Medicine Safe With Tamiflu?

There is no drug interactions between Tamiflu and over the counter cough medicine.

Question

Can you take cough medicine with Tamiflu?

Asked by Stanley On Nov 30, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Dec 01, 2018

Answer

Yes, over the counter cough medication is safe to take with Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate).

Two of the more common cough medications are dextromethorphan and guaifenesin.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant while guaifenesin is an expectorant, which help to thin and loosen mucus secretions.

Both are available, alone or in combination, in many products, including:

  • Mucinex DM (Dextromethorphan; Guaifenesin)
  • DayQuil (Acetaminophen; Dextromethorphan; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine)
  • Theraflu (several formulations)
  • Delsym (Dextromethorphan)
  • Robitussin (Guaifenesin)
  • Robitussin DM (Dextromethorphan; Guaifenesin)

Tamiflu is safe to use with all of the above medications.

In fact, Tamiflu has very few drug interactions. The prescribing information states the following:

"Low protein binding of oseltamivir [Tamiflu] and oseltamivir carboxylate [Tamiflu metabolite] suggests that the probability of drug displacement interactions is low. In vitro studies demonstrate that neither oseltamivir nor oseltamivir carboxylate is a good substrate for P450 mixed-function oxidases or for glucuronyl transferases."

The only two known drug interactions with Tamiflu are with:

  • Live intranasal Influenza Vaccine: The live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) should not be used 2 weeks before or 48 hours after administration of Tamiflu as antiviral drugs (like Tamiflu) can inhibit viral replication and reduce vaccine efficacy.
  • Probenecid: Coadministration of Tamiflu and probenecid results in a two-fold increase in Tamiflu concentrations. However, the prescribing information for Tamiflu states that no dosage adjustments are required due to the safety margin of the drug.

Based on all available data and drug interaction studies, you can feel safe using cough medication with Tamiflu.

Section Summary

Cough medication, including dextromethorphan and guaifenesin, are safe to take with Tamiflu.

About Tamiflu

Tamiflu is an antiviral medicine, classified as a neuraminidase inhibitor. It is used to prevent and treat some kinds of influenza or the flu. It will not work for colds or other viral infections.


Tamiflu should be taken as soon as flu symptoms develop as benefit is greatest when initiated early. The FDA approved labeling recommends starting Tamiflu within 48 hours of influenza symptom onset (for treatment) or close contact with an infected individual (post-exposure prophylaxis).


It may be taken orally with or without food.


Tamiflu is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, which usually occur during the first 2 days of treatment.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! [email protected]; Office: 716-389-3076

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