NyQuil LiquiCaps. #2 pencil placed for size comparison.

NyQuil is a brand of over the counter medication which is intended to relieve various symptoms of the common cold. Because all of the medications within the NyQuil imprint contain sedating antihistamines, hypnotics, and/or alcohol, they are intended to be taken before sleep.[citation needed] Its daytime counterpart is DayQuil, which does not contain sedating antihistamines and is intended not to induce drowsiness. Both NyQuil and DayQuil are manufactured by Procter & Gamble.

NyQuil is formulated as either liquid or capsules (LiquiCaps). The liquid form was test marketed in 1966 and finally widely introduced in the fall of 1968 (with numerous magazine ads and television commercials), and the capsules were introduced in the late 1980s. The product's slogans have traditionally described the product as "The nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, best-sleep-you-ever-got-with-a-cold medicine", where the list is slightly tailored to the particular formulation being offered.

It is unclear where the name NyQuil originated from, though it appears to be a portmanteau of the words "night" and "tranquil".



NyQuil Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief

NyQuil Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief is available in syrup and LiquiCap form.

The liquid version of NyQuil Cold/Flu Multi-symptom Relief currently contains the following active ingredients (15 mL is one tablespoon, which is half the recommended adult dose):

  • Acetaminophen (325 mg/15 mL) (pain reliever/fever reducer)
  • Dextromethorphan (15 mg/15 mL) (cough suppressant)
  • Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15 mL) (antihistamine/hypnotic)

The capsule (LiquiCap) version has the following active ingredients for one pill, which is half the recommended adult dose:

  • Acetaminophen (325 mg/pill) (pain reliever/fever reducer)
  • Dextromethorphan (15 mg/pill) (cough suppressant)
  • Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/pill) (antihistamine/hypnotic)

NyQuil D

NyQuil D is available in syrup form only. It contains pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, and is available behind the pharmacy counter.

NyQuil D contains the following active ingredients (15 mL is one tablespoon, which is half the recommended adult dose):

  • Acetaminophen (500 mg/15 mL) (pain reliever/fever reducer)
  • Dextromethorphan (15 mg/15 mL) (cough suppressant)
  • Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15 mL) (antihistamine/hypnotic)
  • Pseudoephedrine (30 mg/15 mL) (nasal decongestant)

According to Procter and Gamble, on 24 September 2010, Nyquil D is no longer manufactured.

NyQuil Cough

Nyquil Cough's active ingredients are:

  • Dextromethorphan (15 mg/15 mL) (cough suppressant)
  • Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15 mL) (antihistamine/hypnotic)

This is the most commonly recreationally used variant of NyQuil due to its lack of acetaminophen, which has been known to cause liver damage in high doses.

NyQuil Sinus

Nyquil Sinus' active ingredients are:

  • Acetaminophen (pain reliever/fever reducer)
  • Doxylamine succinate (antihistamine/hypnotic)
  • Phenylephrine (nasal decongestant)

Nyquil Sinus is available as LiquiCaps only.


Previously, NyQuil Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief and NyQuil Sinus contained pseudoephedrine (30 mg/15 mL), another nasal decongestant that also formed the active ingredient in Sudafed. Following the passage of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act in 2006, in the United States all pseudoephedrine-containing medications must be kept behind a pharmacy counter and all purchases must be logged.

Vicks chose to keep its products more easily accessible by reformulating NyQuil Sinus, replacing pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine. Many people were outraged by this change and chose to boycott the product, because studies have shown that phenylephrine is no more effective than a placebo. Due to the protest, Vicks chose to revert to the original formula which became NyQuil D.[1]

NyQuil no longer contains phenylephrine except for the sinus LiquiCaps variety.[2]

Children's NyQuil

Children's NyQuil active ingredients are:

Children's NyQuil is unique among the NyQuil line in that it contains no alcohol.[3] It is available in the syrup form only.


External links

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