How Long Robitussin A-C Stays in Your System

Cough syrup being poured onto spoon. Medical concept
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How long Robitussin A-C is detectable in the body depends on several variables, including which kind drug test is being used. Robitussin A-C—which contains guaifenesin (an expectorant) and codeine (a narcotic cough suppressant)—can be detected for a shorter time with some tests, but can be "visible" for up to three months in other tests.

The timetable for detecting Robitussin A-C in the system is also dependent upon each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health conditions, and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact time Robitussin A-C will show up on a drug test.

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which the codeine product in Robitussin A-C can be detected by various testing methods:

  • Urine: Robitussin A-C can be detected in a urine test for up to 2-4 days.
  • Blood: Blood tests for Robitussin A-C can detect the drugs for up to 12 hours
  • Saliva: A saliva test can detect Robitussin A-C for 2-4 days
  • Hair: Robitussin A-C, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.

Avoiding an Overdose

You need to know how long Robitussin A-C stays in the system to avoid taking too much too quickly and having an accidental overdose. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a codeine overdose:

  • Bluish skin (fingernails and lips)
  • Breathing slow and labored
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches
  • Tiny pupils
  • Spasms of the stomach and intestines
  • Weakness
  • Weak pulse

If someone has an overdose on Robitussin A-C, seek medical help immediately. You can call 9-1-1 or the national too-free Poison Help hotline at 800-222-1222 to talk with an expert in poisoning to get further instructions.

The Poison Help hotline is a free and confidential service. It does not have to be an emergency to call; you can call for any reason 24 hours a day.

Robitussin A-C and Alcohol Reaction

Because Robitussin A-C contains codeine, consuming alcohol while using the cough syrup can increase the risk of overdose and cause other negative reactions, including drowsiness and dizziness.

Taking Robitussin A-C alone can cause you to become sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Drinking alcohol along with it can intensify those reactions.

Mixing alcohol with Robitussin A-C may cause you to have problems concentrating or performing some mechanical tasks; make it more dangerous to drive; and increase the risk of falls and serious injuries.

Drinking alcohol while using Robitussin A-C is especially dangerous for women and older people. When women drink, the alcohol in their bloodstream usually reaches higher levels than in a man's bloodstream. Aging slows down the body's ability to metabolize alcohol, leaving higher concentrations in the system of older drinkers longer.

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