Can you take Dayquil at night

Can you take Dayquil at night?

Dayquil is a medication used to treat symptoms of the common cold and flu. It contains the active ingredients acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine.

Just as the name implies, Dayquil was made for use during the daytime and because of this, many people often wonder if you can take Dayquil at night.

In this article, we will take a look at what Dayquil is, what it does, and its possible side effects, and answer the question “Can you take Dayquil at night?” so make sure to read to the end. You might learn a thing or two from this article.

What is Dayquil?

Dayquil is a cold and flu drug that treats symptoms like sore throat, fever, nasal congestion, headache, cough, and more. Acetaminophen (analgesic), dextromethorphan (cough suppressant), and phenylephrine are the active components (decongestant).

How does Dayquil work?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. It works by altering how your body perceives pain. It also affects your body’s temperature regulation.

Dextromethorphan prevents you from coughing. Phenylephrine, the third component, is a nasal decongestant. It helps to minimize blood vessel enlargement in the nasal passages.

Can you take Dayquil at night?

It is not recommended that you take Dayquil at night. If you want medication for cold or flu relief during the night, it is best to go for something that can make you drowsy and help you sleep better at night.

As the name implies, Dayquil is meant to be taken during the daytime. One of the reasons why you shouldn’t take Dayquil at night is due to the dosage regimen for the taking of Dayquil.

It has a dosage interval of 4 hours and a daily intake of 3 times. However, you should not exceed the 3 times limit. There are cases whereby people do not start their daily dose early and end up taking the last dose close to evening or night.

It should be noted that it is not compulsory to take the 3 daily doses. This owes to the fact that the third dose normally falls at night-time, thus, when it gets close to evening time for your last dose, take Nyquil instead.

Another reason to avoid taking Dayquil at night is that it includes phenylephrine, a decongestant that does not last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Also, it doesn’t have the sedative effect that you may require to help you sleep well at night.

Dayquil should not be used at night since it can cause your heart to race and make you feel agitated and restless. When used at night, Dayquil can make some people feel euphoric or alert.

It may potentially have unfavorable side effects. The majority of these adverse effects do not necessitate medical intervention. Rather, when your body adjusts to the drug, it may go away. Some of these side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach pain, etc.

What are the dosages and forms that Dayquil comes in?

LiquiCaps are liquid-filled capsules that contain Dayquil. It’s also available as a drinkable beverage. The recommended dosage for each type is listed in the table below by age group.

For children aged 4 to 5, consult your doctor for the proper dosage, and do not give Dayquil to children under the age of 4.

Recommended dosage



Adults and children 12 years and older

two capsules every 4 hours as needed, no more than four doses in 24 hours

30 mL every 4 hours as needed, no more than 4 doses in 24 hours

Children ages 6-11 years

Ask your doctor

15 mL every 4 hours as needed, no more than four doses in 24 hours

Children ages 4-5 years

Ask your doctor

Ask your doctor

Children younger than 4 years

Do not use

Do not use

Recommended doses for Dayquil

Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 days of taking Dayquil.

Side effects of Dayquil

Dayquil has some unpleasant side effects. The majority of these adverse effects do not necessitate medical intervention. Rather, when your body adjusts to the drug, it may go away.

Dayquil’s side effects include sleeping discomfort, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, nausea, stomach pain, lightheadedness, drowsiness and so on.

One thing you should carefully note is that taking Dayquil with grapefruit juice is a no-go area. While using this medication, avoid drinking grapefruit juice.

Grapefruit juice may raise dextromethorphan levels, which is one of Dayquil’s components. Side effects such as anxiety and dizziness are more likely at higher dosages.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about use of Dayquil at night

Is Dayquil Effective at Keeping You Awake?

Dayquil does not make you sleepy. It typically does not contain caffeine or any other stimulant. Although in some cases it may cause some sleepiness, it does not include any active components that would force you to stay up all night.

Can Dayquil make you feel drowsy?

Yes, drowsiness is a potential side effect that only a few people may experience. This side effect does not last long, hence, there is no need for any medical attention in response to this particular side effect.

Dayquil overuse

Too much acetaminophen in the form of Dayquil can cause serious liver damage. Make sure no other medications you’re taking contain acetaminophen. Even if you take Dayquil exactly as directed, mixing it with other acetaminophen-containing medications can result in an overdose.

Risk of taking Dayquil

Considered as a safe drug, Dayquil can also be harmful if taken with some existing health conditions. If you have certain health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, enlarged prostate, you should consult your doctor before taking Dayquil.

Dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in Dayquil, is a commonly abused medicine. It causes euphoria and even hallucinations in high dosages. This risky usage is known as “robo-tripping” or “skittling,” and it can be fatal. Take Dayquil just as directed.

Does Dayquil contain caffeine?

Dayquil does not contain caffeine. Its main components or ingredients are acetaminophen for relieving pain and for fever reduction; dextromethorphan for cough suppression; and phenylephrine hydrochloride, which helps clear nasal congestion.

Does Dayquil give energy?

Dayquil does not include any stimulants, therefore it neither increases nor decreases energy. As a result, you can resume your normal daily activities after taking it, without feeling energized at work.


The drug Dayquil is used to treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu. Dayquil was created for use throughout the day, as the name suggests. It is not advisable to use Dayquil at night.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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