Zicam and Nyquil are both popular over-the-counter cold medications. They are also both known to cause a prolonged, unpleasant side effect: The common zicam and nyquil cephalalgia. But can you take zicam and nyquil together? In general, no. This is because both of these medicines should not be taken at the same time or even within a short period of one another.

However, if you miss your dosage window for either product or need to take them together for some reason, it won’t cause any permanent damage or make things worse than they already are. Read on to learn more about why you shouldn’t take Zicam and Nyquil together, which side effects from each drug might be made worse by taking them simultaneously and what you can do instead if you find yourself in this situation.

Why you shouldn’t take Zicam and Nyquil together

There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t take Zicam and Nyquil together. First of all, they both contain certain active ingredients that aren’t compatible with each other. If you take both of these products together, they can build up in your system and create a harmful, toxic overload. Concomitant use of these drugs is also known to cause more and worse side effects.

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The side effects that these products cause on their own are bad enough. If you take Zicam and Nyquil together and experience the side effects of both at the same time, they could be incapacitating. Zicam and Nyquil are also known to prolong the duration of cold symptoms. Taking them together will make your symptoms last longer than taking either one alone.

Which side effects will be made worse by taking zicam and nyquil together?

The side effects that are made worse by taking Zicam and Nyquil together include:

  • Nasal irritation
  • This is the most common side effect of both drugs.
  • Confusion
  • Taking Zicam is known to cause confusion. Taking it together with Nyquil will make you more likely to forget important things or make dangerous mistakes.
  • Headache
  • Zicam is known to cause headaches and taking it together with Nyquil will make your headache worse.
  • Gagging or retching
  • This is a rare side effect common only to Nyquil. Taking Zicam with Nyquil will make it more likely to occur.
  • Dry mouth
  • This side effect is common to both drugs. Taking both will make your mouth drier and your breath smell bad.

What does zicam and nyquil cephalalgia feel like?

Zicam and Nyquil cephalalgia is a prolonged headache caused by taking Zicam and Nyquil together. This sustained pain is difficult to treat because, while it can be treated with pain medication, you can’t take the drugs that normally treat a headache because those are the ones that caused the headache in the first place!

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To ease your headache, you can try a cold compress, soothing your head by resting and drinking lots of water. You can also try taking a mild pain killer and an anti-nausea medication if your headache and nausea are especially bad.

Alternatives to taking zicam and nyquil at the same time

If you’re taking Zicam and Nyquil together and want to discontinue taking one or both of these drugs, here are a few suggestions for how to go about it: If you’re taking Zicam, try discontinuing it and using a nasal wash or saline spray to help clear up your stuffy nose.

If you’re taking Nyquil, try discontinuing it and taking a non-drowsy over-the-counter pain reliever for your headache. If you want to take both of these drugs temporarily but don’t want to take them together, you can try separating them by a few hours.

Can you take cough drops with Zicam?

You can take cough drops with Zicam. However, you should not take Zicam and cough drops together. This is because the cough lozenges will coat your throat and make it harder to swallow Zicam, which must be swallowed in order to work. Cough drops should be taken at least 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after taking Zicam.

Bottom line

Zicam and Nyquil are both popular over-the-counter cold medications. However, you shouldn’t take Zicam and Nyquil together because they contain ingredients that don’t mix well together and can cause a toxic buildup in your body. If you take both of these drugs, you may experience a prolonged, painful headache as a result of Zicam and Nyquil cephalalgia. To avoid this, try taking the drugs at different times or discontinuing one or both of them.

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That doesn’t mean you should stop taking your cold medication altogether because colds are incredibly contagious. Instead, try taking your medication at a different time than you normally would, or speak with your doctor to see if there’s another medication that would be better for you.


David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.