Can You Take Zarbee's With Mucinex?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses if it is safe to take Zarbee's Cough And Mucus with Mucinex.

Question

Can I take Zarbee's Cough + Mucux with Mucinex DM (both adult products)?

Asked by klo On Dec 12, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Dec 21, 2021
Last updated Mar 03, 2022

Key points

  • There is no known drug interaction between Zarbee's Cough + Mucus and Mucinex (or Mucinex DM).

Hello and thanks for reaching out to us!

Yes, it is safe to take Zarbee's Cough and Mucus (as well as other Zarbee's products) with Mucinex. There is no known drug interaction between them.

In fact, Mucinex, which contains the active ingredient guaifenesin, is an extremely safe drug. Most clinical drug resources list it as having essentially no drug interactions.

You did mention in your question that you were specifically inquiring about Mucinex DM, which contains both guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. Although dextromethorphan does interact with some drugs, there is no evidence it interacts with anything contained in Zarbee's Cough and Mucus.

Zarbee's Cough + Mucus With Mucinex

Zarbee's has multiple product offerings, but let's take a look at the specific product you mentioned, Zarbee's Cough + Mucus. According to their website, this product contains:

  • Dark Honey
  • Ivy Leaf
  • Thyme
  • Vitamins C & D
  • Zinc
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Marshmallow Root Extract

Below is the Supplement Facts label:

Zarbees Cough And Mucus Label

As mentioned at the beginning of the answer, there is no evidence that anything here interacts with Mucinex or Mucinex DM. You can feel safe taking them together.

What About Zarbee's And Other Drugs?

After looking through the Zarbee's website, it looks like most of their products contain honey.

There is some evidence that honey, when eaten regularly, can affect some drugs that are metabolized by a certain enzyme in our body (CYP3A4), but most studies conclude this isn't clinically significant.

Now, you may notice that this product also contains grapefruit seed extract, and grapefruit is certainly a well-known food that can interact with many different drugs, such as statin drugs, which are used to treat high cholesterol.

However, most sources indicate that a clinically significant interaction only occurs when more than a glass of grapefruit juice (or equivalent amount of fruit) is consumed. There is such a small amount of grapefruit in this product that it likely wouldn't interact with any drugs that would otherwise be affected by larger amounts.

I do want to mention that there are some Zarbee's products, aside from the one I am talking about in this answer (which is Zarbee's Cough + Mucus) that contain additional ingredients, and some of them do have drug interactions to be aware of.

For example, some of the nighttime Zarbee's products contain melatonin, which is generally safe to take for most individuals, but again, does have some drug interactions (although not with Mucinex or Mucinex DM).

Final Words

We always appreciate folks reaching out regarding interaction questions with over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

Even though a drug or dietary supplement is available over the counter, that doesn't mean it can't affect other drugs. We're always more than happy to answer these types of questions.

Thanks again for reaching out to us!

References

  • What to know about grapefruit and statins, MedicalNewsToday
  • Honey Monograph (Subscription Required), Natural Standard
  • Effect of honey on CYP3A4, CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 enzyme activity in healthy human volunteers, PubMed
  • Influence of a Nigerian honey on CYP3A4 biotransformation of quinine in healthy volunteers, PubMed
  • Zarbee's Manufacturer Website, Zarbee's
  • Daily Honey Consumption Does Not Change CYP3A Activity in Humans, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
  • The Sweet Effect of Honey on Drug Metabolism, Pharmacy Times

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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