Mucinex® is More Than Just Mucus!
You have no doubt seen the television commercials, the giant, green ball of slime with the New Yorker accent, moving into someone’s lung. Yes, it’s Mr. Mucus, the official mascot of the Mucinex® brand decongestant. Whether you find him funny or disgusting, the marketing campaign has worked, making Mr. Mucus one of the most recognizable mascots on television. So, what exactly is Mucinex and where Mr. Mucus come from?
Mucinex® was developed by Adams Respiratory Therapeutics. Mucinex® is now distributed by Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer and developer of home, health and personal care products. You’ll find the Reckitt Benckiser label on many products you use everyday, from Lysol® to Clearsil®. The company prides itself on being innovative, launching several new and improved products every year. Their corporate website shows all the products they make and tells you how to apply to work for Reckitt Benckiser at www.rb.com.
Who is Mr. Mucus?
The difficult task of talking about mucus on television was solved when Adams Respiratory Therapeutics’ senior vice president of marketing, M’lou Arnett, dreamed up the Mr. Mucus character. He also came up with the “Mucinex® in, mucus out” slogan. As soon as the ads started airing people called and wrote to stations complaining about seeing Mr. Mucus during dinner time. These calls and letters meant that Mr. Mucus was working; he was getting attention. Mr. Mucus is now married to Mr. Mucus and they have several children. The ad campaign has evolved into a wildly successful campaign that gets people talking. You can even get your own plush Mr. Mucus toy from several online toy stores (or if you happen to know a pharmaceutical rep). But the sales don’t lie. Every time a new Mr. Mucus commercial airs, sales of Mucinex® products increase, so it looks like the rude, green, fat, little blob known as Mr. Mucus is here to stay.
What is Mucinex®?
The main ingredient in Mucinex® is guaifenesin. Guaifenesin is an expectorant that works by thinning the mucus in air passages, making it easier to cough up. You should drink plenty of water while taking Mucinex®. Guaifenesin has been used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), hay fever, seasonal allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gout, asthma, and even infertility. Some singers take a Mucinex, or a similar drug containing guaifenesin, to thin mucus in the throat and airways. Ask your doctor before taking Mucinex® for anything other than congestion or sinusitis.
Possible Mucinex® Side Effects
Side effects of guaifenesin are usually mild and may include headache, nausea, dizziness, upset stomach, and perhaps vomiting if the cough becomes too intense. These side effects are rare, but be sure to tell your doctor if any of these or other symptoms occur. See medical attention immediately if severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) occur. Do not take Mucinex if you are pregnant or nursing. The FDA classifies Mucinex® as pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether guaifenesin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The different types of Mucinex® and Pricing
-Mucinex® 600mg guaifenesin – Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets. This is the original, twelve hour formula, that does not include other drugs like pain relievers. This formula is available online at www.homesolutionsstore.com for $11.39 for 20 tablets. It is available at drug stores like Walgreen’s and CVS Pharmacy, the price will be a few dollars higher than the online price, but once you pay shipping and handling on the online purchase, it will work out to about the same cost.
-Mucinex® Maximum Strength 1200mg guaifenesin – Expectorant Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets. This formula contains double the amount of guaifenesin but does not include other drugs. This formula sells online at www.homesolutionsstore.com for $12.29 for 14 tablets.
-Mucinex® DM 600mg guaifenesin and 30mg dextromethorphan HBr – Expectorant and Cough Suppressant Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets. The DM stands for dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant. This formula sells online at www.homesolutionsstore.com for $12.29 for 20 tablets.
-Mucinex® DM Maximum Strength 1200mg guaifenesin and 60mg dextromethorphan HBr – Expectorant and Cough Suppressant Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets. This formula has double the amount of guaifenesin and dextromethorphan of the regular strength formula. This formula sells online at www.homesolutionsstore.com for $13.59 for 14 tablets.
Mucinex® is available in children’s formulas as well. There’s a liquid version and a powdered form that dissolves in the child’s mouth. Called Mucinex® Mini-Melts, the tablets come in a variety of flavors including orange cream, bubble gum, cherry, mixed berry, and grape. The children’s versions of Mucinex® contain about 100mg of guaifenesin and a cough suppressant. Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.
Mucinex® products are available for sinus infections as well, in tablet or nose spray form.
Discounts and Coupons for Mucinex® Products
You can order online at www.mucinex.com which will link you to their online store at www.homesolutionsstore.com. You will find that the prices are lower online than in stores, but after you pay shipping fees, it may work out to around the same price. Keep checking your local paper and Sunday fliers for coupons from Mucinex®, especially during cold and flu season. Surprisingly enough, you may be able to find a good deal on www.amazon.com. You can get Amazon’s “Free Super Saving Shipping” on orders over $25. Www.retailmenot.com is a good source to find online coupon codes and printable coupons as well. Other sites that usually have discount promo codes and special price savings include www.CouponMountain.com, www.Savings.com and www.MySavings.com. I was unable to find any special discounts on the official Mucinex® website at this time, but be sure to check there first before heading into the pharmacy.