What is the difference between NyQuil and ZzzQuil? 

What is the difference between NyQuil and ZzzQuil?

The only difference between NyQuil and ZzzQuil is the addition of two different antihistamines in these meds. NyQuil contains Doxylamine, whereas ZzzQuil contains Diphenhydramine (1,2). 

Both antihistamines are quite similar in nature and work in the exact same way. In fact, the side effect profiles are also quite similar. Both Doxylamine and Diphenhydramine are sedatives in nature, hence they are intended to be used at nighttime. 

It’s quite difficult to tell which one of these two meds is more effective or more sedative in nature as they both are almost the same. 

If we talk about formulations, NyQuil contains other active ingredients – Dextromethorphan and Acetaminophen (1). Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant and Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used OTC painkillers and fever reducers (1). 

ZzzQuil, on the other hand, only contains Diphenhydramine. If you’re looking for additional cold and flu symptomatic relief along with a good night’s sleep, NyQuil is the better option. 

How to choose between NyQuil and ZzzQuil?

Choosing between NyQuil and ZzzQuil depends on your specific symptoms and needs.

If you have symptoms of a cold or the flu, such as a runny nose, cough, and body aches, NyQuil is the better option. It is a multi-symptom relief medication designed to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, including cough, congestion, and pain. (1)

On the other hand, if you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to insomnia or difficulty sleeping, ZzzQuil might be more suitable. ZzzQuil, being a sleep aid, can help you get the restful sleep you need without the added cold and flu symptom relief. (2)

Keep in mind that both NyQuil and ZzzQuil contain active ingredients that may interact with other medications you are taking, so it’s essential to read the labels and consult with a healthcare professional before using either product.

Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications, it’s best to seek medical advice to ensure the product is safe for you to use. Just make sure you don’t take NyQuil and ZzzQuil together. 

ZzzQuil is also available in another formulation called ZzzQuil ultra which has a different active ingredient. However, it should also be avoided with NyQuil.

Final words

To sum up, there are minor differences between NyQuil and ZzzQuil, and the right choice between them depends on the kind of symptoms you are looking to treat. If you are confused about the two formulations, please reach out to your pharmacist. 

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LABEL: VICKS NYQUIL COLD AND FLU- acetaminophen, dextromethorphan hydrobromide, and doxylamine succinate capsule, liquid filled. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=620bc3dc-099b-40bd-be22-e4c3f9c8e09d&type=pdf


LABEL: ZZZQUIL NIGHTTIME SLEEP-AID- diphenhydramine hydrochloride capsule, gelatin coated. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=ad4babdb-d98d-420e-b8b0-9a5368c89a44&type=pdf