Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy? Description, Formulation, Impact, Drawbacks & Interaction With Food & Drugs

Constant congestion must be quite a nuance for you, how to get rid of it? Does Nyquil work well in this case? But does Nyquil make you sleepy? These are concerns recently arise making everyone curious to know. 

Nyquil is a recommended medication used to treat illnesses such as flu, cold, cough, sneezing, or respiratory problems. 

This syrup contains cough suppressants,  antihistamines, and sedatives which relax muscles so getting drowsy is common.

The Dextromethorphan, Acetaminophen, and Doxylamine succinate used as active ingredients in its formulation have different time frames to cause action.

Different factors and formulations influence its impact and how long its effect lasts on the human body.

In this guide, we will look deeper into whether Nyquil makes you sleepy, its formulation, whether is it addictive, how long it takes to cause action and lasts within the body, and its side effects along with its interactions with food and other medications.

Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy?

Yes, it makes you drowsy. I’ll recommend you to reserve this medication for night-time when you don’t need to be vigilant. It’s because Nyquil contains antihistamines which are proved to make you sleepy.

You can take DayQuil instead of it which contains ingredients like phenylephrine, acetaminophen, and Dextromethorphan but not antihistamine making it a better choice for daytime use as you won’t get sleepy.

What Is Nyquil?

What is it and why it’s making quite a stir with concerns like, does Nyquil make you sleepy or not? So yes it does. This over-the-counter medication comes in several forms including pills, powder, and liquid. However, formulation in each form varies, even the dosage varies.

You must closely evaluate which ingredients are added to the particular type of Nyquil you are buying and how long it will last within your body.

The Nyquil products contain first-generation antihistamines which if taken during the daytime may make you sleepy.

Which Active Ingredients Are Used In Formulation?

Does Nyquil make you sleepy due to specific ingredients added to it? Well, that can be the possibility as several active ingredients act as sedatives. The active ingredients include:

Doxylamine: This ingredient is found in Unisom SleepTabs and acts as an antihistamine.  It helps mainly with allergies and flu.

Acetaminophen: Another ingredient you may have seen in Tylenol, and helps greatly in treating fever and as a pain reliever.

Dextromethorphan: It is present in Delsym and clears out sinuses and if you have a stuffy nose, it helps with that too by acting as a decongestant. 

Phenylephrine: It is found in Sudafed PE and acts as a decongestant too.

Diphenhydramine: Another antihistamine and found as an active ingredient in Benadryl and Unisom SleepGels. 

Alcohol: Most of the products contain alcohol. But if you want alcohol to be skipped? No worries, alcohol-free Nyquils are also available in the market.

In Much Time Does Nyquil Can Make You Sleepy?

Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy Immediately? Yes, you may feel drowsiness within 30 minutes but its impact varies from person to person. 

Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy? Description, Formulation, Impact, Drawbacks & Interaction With Food & Drugs

But if you have taken it during the day, you should avoid engaging in activities that demand your alertness like using machinery, or driving in anything if not properly handled may harm you until the effect dissipates from your body.

How Long Nyquil Lasts Within Body?

It dissipates pretty quickly from your body. It stays within your body for 6 hours, if you want better results you can take it every 6 hours.

Therefore, taking it during night-time is appropriate as the effect will wear off at night and when you wake you will be fresh and alert. 

Drawbacks of Using Nyquil

Well, the major drawback you need to be cautious of is drowsiness and sleepiness. However, the time and duration it was taking to impact varies.

  • Besides that, it may cause skin redness due to sensitivity caused due to it.
  • It may cause other skin diseases like Blisters and rashes.
  • It may cause difficulty in peeing, and constipation in adults.
  • If you have given this medication to children under aged 12, they may behave extra excitedly.
  • As you are orally ingesting it, it may cause lice damage. 

You need to consult with your healthcare provider if you feel any side effects.

Is It OK To Take Nyquil To Sleep Better If Not Sick?

Well, its not particularly a good decision as it may mess up your sleep cycle instead of helping you out.

You must avoid it at all costs if you aren’t sick as it contains numerous ingredients like dextromethorphan, acetaminophen, and alcohol which don’t help out with sleep and in contrary may make you addicted.

The sleepiness is caused by Doxylamine if you want it just to have better sleep. You must consult with your physician to recommend only Doxylamine. 

Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy? Description, Formulation, Impact, Drawbacks & Interaction With Food & Drugs

Your temptation to take Nyquil to get better even if it helped you in the past won’t be a nice thought now.

Is Nyquil Addictive?

No, Nyquil isn’t addictive on its own. However, the components used in it like alcohol may make a person addicted. 

Using Nyquil as recommended by physicians has little to no negative influence, however, using, it against recommendation may prove to be dangerous.

However, your body may adapt itself to Nyquil and you feel like it doesn’t let you fall asleep and you are getting insomniac.

If you have suddenly stopped, then you may face withdrawal symptoms which must be treated acutely with your physical anxiety and mental health professional.

You may take larger doses to get desired results which indicates your body has developed tolerance to that drug and you require high dosage which isn’t something to take casually.

Interactions With Food

Does Nyquil Make you sleepy and nauseated when you ingest it with food? Not at all, Nyquil claimed to have no effect on the human body and doesn’t show any interaction with food. 

You can consume it on an empty stomach or consume it with your meals, in whatever manner you like.

Interaction With Other Medications 

Drug interaction is possible with any medication you either take along with Nyquil or before or after taking this. 

But you must consult with your health professional beforehand so that he can screen for himself how your medication will react with Nyquil.

Here I’ve mentioned a few drugs that help in treating mental disorders and how they can interact with Nyquil.


Does Nyquil Make you Sleepy when taken along with Warfarin? Drowsiness isn’t certain but the Acetaminophen in Nyquil interacts with Warfarin and increase INR (i.e., International normalized ratio) which indicates the blood clotting ability. 

Higher INR means increased bleeding, so you must talk to your consult before taking these drugs together. 


Sedatives along with Nyquil may not be a good choice as both cause drowsiness. 

So people concerned about does Nyquil make you sleepy must be aware taking it along with other sedatives like benzodiazepines and others will cause excessive drowsiness and dizziness. 

Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy? Description, Formulation, Impact, Drawbacks & Interaction With Food & Drugs

Besides that, you must avoid drinking alcohol with Nyquil as it will cause dizziness as well.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

These medication helps to treat depression and Parkinson’s disorder and include Phenelzine,  Isocarboxazid, and Selegiline. 

Its interaction with Nyquil causes serotonin syndrome and excessive serotonin causes tremors and sweating and sometimes becomes life-threatening. 

So if you are wondering just about does Nyquil makes you sleepy, you must get extra cautious with its interaction with MAOIs as both together seems to cause havoc within your body. 

Again, these are a few drugs u have discussed if you are taking any other, you must consult with your physician to avoid any negative circumstances. 


In conclusion, Nyquil is a drug that is a combination of Doxylamine, acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and sometimes alcohol as well. 

You may come across different brands and products containing different formulations. 

You must keenly evaluate the labeling to determine what you are going to have.

It takes almost 30 minutes to take action within your body and stays for 6 hours. But the drowsiness caused due to it is a matter of concern. 

To determine its interactions with any medication you are already taking must consult with you’d physician beforehand to avoid complications. 

Give it a thorough read to know all about its interactions with medication and does Nyquil makes you sleepy in real. 

FAQs on Does Nyquil Make You Sleepy

How long does Nyquil take to make you sleep?

It takes approx. 30 minutes to make you sleepy so you must take this medication just before going to bed.

Can I take two doses of Nyquil at once? 

The recommended dosage for an adult is 2 capsules which is equivalent to one dosage. You should avoid taking 4 doses each day which is equal to 8 capsules.

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Hamza Ashraf

Mr Hamza is the admin of He is an SEO Executive having the practical experience of 5 years. He has been working with many Multinational companies, especially dealing in Portugal. Furthermore, he has been writing quality content since 2019. His ultimate goal is to provide content seekers with authentic and precise information.

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