The Difference between Milk Chocolate Dark Chocolate and Semi Sweet Chocolate

All kinds of chocolate gets its wonderful flavor from the cocoa bean, but most chocolates are also mixed with other ingredients. As much as 90 percent of chocolate comes from ingredients that aren’t cocoa liquor! The difference between milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate comes from how much cocoa bean goes into the chocolate when you compare it to other ingredients.

Milk chocolate

Cocoa beans are naturally bitter, so mixing it with other ingredients usually makes it milder and sweeter than straight cocoa beans. That’s why milk chocolate’s so popular in chocolate bars.

Milk chocolate’s got the most ingredients of any real kind of chocolate. Milk gives it its name, in the form of milk powder, condensed milk, or even regular liquid milk! At least 12 percent of milk chocolate has to be made from milk.

Other common ingredients in milk chocolate are sugar and cocoa butter.

By law, milk chocolate has to have at least 10 percent cocoa liquor. If you’re in Europe, that jumps to 25 percent, unless you’re in Britain, when it’s only 20 percent. So as long as it’s between 10 and 25 percent and contains milk, it’s called milk chocolate somewhere.

The Hershey method of making milk chocolate’s really popular in Canada and the States, but how they do it is a trade secret. Hershey chocolate isn’t nearly as sweet as other kinds of milk chocolate. There’s even a distinct sour aftertaste!

Dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate

There’s a lot of overlap between dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. It doesn’t help at all that there’s not a really precise definition for what is dark chocolate and what is semi-sweet chocolate. The amount of cocoa in these chocolates goes all the way from 18% to 99%! So you’ve really got to look at the package label closely before you buy.

The law doesn’t really distinguish between semi-sweet and dark chocolate at all. You’ve got to have at least 18 percent cocoa liquor to use either name in Canada. In Europe and the United States, it’s more like 35 percent minimum cocoa liquor to be called chocolate and not some kind of chocolate mix.

You’ll sometimes see bittersweet chocolate, or extra dark chocolate. They’re pretty much the same thing. In general, they’ll usually have more cocoa liquor than regular dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate.

Your basic taste rule of thumb is that higher percentages of cocoa beans taste more bitter. That’s why semi-sweet chocolates are used most often for cooking. They usually have higher amounts of cocoa liquor than what’s called dark chocolate, which is mostly used for eating straight.

But you can really use either one when you’re cooking. Just be careful with the amounts you use. You’ll need less chocolate when it’s got a higher percentage of cocoa liquor, and you’ll probably want to add more sugar.

Cough: Causes & How to Treat

Cough is one of the respiratory diseases are common symptoms.

Of foreign substances or inside the bronchial airways secretions, blood, phlegm, pathological agents such as occurs in the form of a reflex to throw out. Closing of the throat, providing a breath of granting the severe contraction of the vocal cords occurs. Sudden contraction of the muscles of the chest, this is accompanied by abdominal muscles. Forces increase the pressure in the throat and windpipe opening vibration of the vocal cords forced gırtlaktaki leads to the typical cough sound. Coughing is a reflex developed stimulation of any part of the respiratory tract.

For example, the lung air sacs stimulated human cough wall. Dry cough primarily the larynx, trachea and bronchi caused by a part of.

Pneumonia is a lung disease, such as cough, sputum reach a visible bronchi. Membrane lung diseases such plore-zideyse a persistent cough. Cough, respiratory tract disease, even without a real hysteria and mental tension may be due to the head.

Dry cough:

Coughing occurs when the sound vibration of the vocal cords only. Patients do not produce sputum. This type of cough usually occurs in the following cases:

  • a) The mucus-forming the larynx, trachea and bronchial inflammation;
  • b) suspicion of lung diseases, such as pleurisy.

Learn more on how to get rid of dry cough in the quick and natural way.

A kind of cut in the initial phase of TB cough.

Mucus Cough:

Not similar as dry cough, the resulting sound, stretching the vocal cords during the respiratory particles of sputum is also added to the sounds of movement. Even though there are always different amounts of sputum, but the patient with small children, the elderly and so on. In such cases, to be taken out by coughing, swallowing goes to the stomach. There are two major types, including dry and productive cough. But these different olarakta cough may occur.

If the seizure cough:

Unlike a cut deep and noisy breath, severe cough sets in if we in a row. Typically seen in whooping cough, bronchial mucosa damaged in the circumstances, but he escaped, or foreign bodies in the respiratory tract may occur.

Bark like cough:

Dry the patient’s voice the same volume level. Laryngitis, diphtheria, and so on. inflammation of the vocal cords due to diseases, especially in young children is an acute inflammation of the larynx-trachea-bronchial.

Two-toned cough:

Combination of two different shades of sound occurs. One of the sounds at the level of the vocal cords, throat, the other more below, consists of trachea and bronchi.

Dry, hoarse cough:

Not a loud cough, but very uncomfortable. Tumor in the throat or vocal cords, such as tuberculosis, severe lezyonlarmda seen. As explained earlier, there are two major types, including cough, dry and productive. But also some particular forms of cough can also occur in them.

Cough How is it treated?

Should be directed to the treatment of cough illness is connected. Dry cough, such as air pollution or cigarette causes irritation mostly cut off time is eliminated. Cough with a nice ventilation and air nemlendirilmesiyle greatly reduced.

Infection-stricken, this cough should be treated with antibiotics. Coughs caused by infections, germs accumulate in the lungs, unlike kesilmeyip supported.

Tonsil stones questions and answers

Q: As a child I had repeated tonsillitis and as an adult I get it intermittently and as recently as last December although I’m now 43! It occurred after 2 severe bouts of sinus infections which lead to tracheitis, chest infection and the tonsillitis. As a result of repeated tonsillitis my tonsils are permanently enlarged but about 3 years ago these tonsil stones started appearing. At 1st I thought they were tonsillitis about to flare but there was no pain or redness just the feeling of something stuck on the back of my throat like a large breadcrumb and the white spots were visible.

Anyway I manually removed the tonsil stones once I found out what they were as I couldn’t bear the thoughts of accidentally swallowing them (I’m sure I’ve probably swallowed heaps but it’s the thoughts of it). I can’t say I’d recommend my methods as it’s probably not the safest but works for me. The cotton buds etc didn’t work but what did was a very narrow fabric coated flexible hairband and one day in an emergency the arm of a pair of sunglasses. I push at the most accessible side of the stone (where I’m least likely to gag and where I can scoop the stone when it pops) and usually it pops out quickly with no pain and no after effects (again I stress this works for me but wouldn’t recommend). They only appear in one tonsil and that tonsil is now significantly smaller than the other where it would have been the larger of the 2.

I suffer from chronic sinusitis and have constant post nasal drip. I’ve tried excluding dairy and wheat and where it does seem to lessen it doesn’t disappear. During the Summer the pollens cause sinus issues but doesn’t seem to be grass pollen. Several colleagues have the same problem and we all react on similar days whether we are in work or not. Mold is a very definite trigger for me and this time of year is particularly bad with all the leaves falling and rotting. I don’t keep plants in my house as I discovered if any mold grew in the soil I would be reduced to coughing fits.

In regard to the tonsil stones and their formation this is most likely from the above allergies etc. Stress seems to be what pushes them to the surface for me. I had multiple stones appear over several weeks around the time my father died and thereafter very few. Recently they have been appearing again and lo and behold another extremely stressful time in my life with my mother in hospital for the last 3 weeks after major surgery and the death of her sister amongst several other things all at the same time. I had a couple of stones about 2 weeks ago and another this morning and that has confirmed the role stress has to play in them to me.

I am definitely going to try the supplements and I currently already practice yoga and exercise frequently but your article will certainly provide the incentive for me to continue. For more information about how to remove them naturally, visit here for details.

A: I can also recommend you to go and see a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and see what he has to say about your condition. They work on balancing your entire body which would also help for your allergy and sinus infection. I hope you get to the bottom of your problem so that you can relax. Best wishes!

Q: As I’ve read this, it kinda conflict with what my doctors say… they say, it’d be OK to remove the tonsils coz it’d stop my sufferings with my reoccurring tonsils… but now, I’m close into realizing that i shouldn’t let them remove mine coz it is a counterpart of what the functions of our liver are… I’m afraid… am i gonna die or suffer much if this won’t be removed??? I’ve seen the pictures of the tonsil stones… & mine is much bigger, much spread out and i can hardly speak (*feels like something is stuck in my throat)…

A: Yes it does conflict with what many doctors say, and I don’t say that you shouldn’t trust your doctors. You could get a second opinion form a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor and listen to what he has to say about your condition. I hope you find this helpful. All the best!

Q: Hello! I am so glad I discovered this article too! I have one question…How soon after an allergy or reaction to a food allergy would a tonsil stone appear? I only get them now and again. If I woke up this AM with one is that from something I ate the day before? or something I ate that week?

A: I have no good answer to give you here:). My own experience is about one day. I remember cooking a mushroom dish with lots of cream and fat served on toast bread. The day after I was out running and I suddenly coughed up two large tonsil stones.

So, for me these stones can form rather quickly. You have to be aware and see how fast the stones form for you :)

Here are some details and tips on how to remove tonsil stones at

Treating a Hyperextended Knee

Any type of knee injury can have an effect on the surrounding ligaments. It can also effect the fluid-filled sacs known as bursae. The bursae surrounds the knee joints.

When you have a hyper-extended knee, it means that your knee has been bent out of shape the wrong way. What happens is that it then will bend backwards on itself. The damage can either be mild or severe. The hyper extended knee can also lead to a ligament tearing that is only partial, or total. Causes of a hyper extended knee can come from doing gymnastics and landing the wrong way, any accident that involves knee injury, or movement to the knee joint that is going in the opposite direction.

The usual symptoms of a hyper extended knee are felt right away a lot of times. Common symptoms are:

1. A pop in the knee area

2. Pain in the knee both on the sides and backs

3. Swelling at the site which happens soon after the injury.

4. Symptoms that linger will be pain and also your knee may look as though it was deformed.

When you have this injury, getting a pair of crutches right away will help to take the pressure off from trying to walk. This will help matters until the extent of the knee injury is known. Doctors will look at:

1. Medical background

2. The knee will be examined

3. MRI scans will be done and x-rays. The MRI scan is even more helpful than an xray since it gives the exact place of injury to the knee.

After assessing the knee damages, treatment will be in forms of some physical therapy to help gain motion back into the knee. A knee brace is also helpful too, since it helps to put the knee joint back into place and straighten it out again.

After the initial knee injury, applying a cold pack or ice may help ease the shock of pain.

Resting the knee is also very important and elevating the knee may help swelling issues.

Compression may be recommended which means the prevention of fluid buildup. You can get a compression bandage that fits your needs and doesn’t cut off circulation.

Taking anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce the pains. This can include aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen,or Aleve.

If the ligament is torn, then surgery is the next option. Healing takes at least 6 months and up to as long as possibly nine months before sports can be played again.

A Brief Overview Of COPD

Chronic obstruction pulmonary disease is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is a combination of various lung diseases that causes air obstruction in the air passages; it also destroys the air sacs in the lungs making it difficult to breathe. The major disorders that causes chronic obstruction pulmonary disease is chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many patients with COPD are diagnosed with both.

Chronic bronchitis also known as “blue bloater” is the persistent inflammation of the air passage tubes in the lungs which result into recurrent cough and production of mucus in large amounts. The cell lining the airways stops working properly when they are irritated past a certain point resulting to production of large amounts of mucus. Excess mucus clogs air passage tubes resulting to heavy coughs.

Emphysema also known as “pink puffer” is the persistent damage of the lungs which results from the destruction of tissues in the alveoli. Lungs can be damaged by cigarette smoke or persistent coughing. The walls of the alveoli become weak and less functional. Lungs damage may continue until it is impaired which is dangerous to human life.


  • Smoking cigarette
  • Air pollution
  • Industrial chemical fumes
  • Repeated lung irritations or infections
  • Working in dusty environment without wearing protection musks


The symptoms of chronic obstruction pulmonary disease appear when the disease has progressed to the far extent. The disease develops over a number of years, symptoms are only seen when it is too late. Here are the symptoms of copd:

  • High whistling sound in the chest
  • Persistent production of excess mucus
  • Dry coughing
  • Swelling of the legs and ankles
  • Hardship in exhaling
  • Chest pain
  • Blue –purple complexion


  • Stop smoking and avoid smoky rooms
  • Drink a lot of water to reduce mucus secretions. Don’t drink coffee and alcohol, they can lead to dehydration.
  • Avoid going out on cold seasons or days when the quality of air is poor
  • Don’t use any drugs to suppress coughing. Coughing clears mucus accumulated in the lungs
  • Do some breathing exercises
  • With extensive lung damage, transplant may be required


To determine the stage of chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, the doctor has to use aspirotomy (a breathing test). The test shows how your lungs work. It is an easy test and it is not painful. The patient breathes hard into a machine called a spirometer which measures how your lungs can hold air. The severity of COPD is determined based on a spirometry tests. The various COPD stages include:

  • At risk: In this stage the breathing test is normal but COPD could be developing. The symptoms at this stage include sputum production and chronic cough
  • Mild chronic obstruction pulmonary disease: At this stage, breathing tests shows a mild airflow limitation. Symptoms include sputum production and chronic cough. At this stage it’s hard to realize that the air flow has reduced
  • Moderate chronic obstruction pulmonary disease: At this stage, breathing test shows the worsening air flow limitation. Symptoms at this stage have increased. You start experiencing shortness of breath when you walk fast or run, working hard and any other activities that requires a lot of energy. You are advised to seek medical attention at this stage.
  • Severe chronic obstruction pulmonary disease: At this stage, breathing test shows severe limitation of the airflow. You start experiencing short of breath even after a little activity. Symptoms like right sided heart failure and respiratory failure may develop. Life is impaired at this stage and the symptoms are life threatening

The Benefits of Pressure Cookers

There are certain cooking equipments that can never be replaced. Substituted sometimes, maybe yes but absolutely switched, no way. The pressure cooker is one such kitchen essential for me.

There are many advantages of a pressure cooker that I experience each day in my household but I don’t have to list all. A few would be sufficient to put the point across.

Saves on time
The pressure cooker is a huge time-saver. As it works on steam and pressure, a lot gets done in lesser minutes. Depending on the size of the pressure cooker, you can also fit in two or three custom made containers in it. The result being, you can cook more than a dish in the time of one.

Doesn’t leave food dry
One of the biggest problems I have with microwave cooking is that, at times, the food turns out to be little dry for my taste. Some foods like lentils always taste better when cooked in a pressure cooker because of the same reason. With a pressure cooker, you don’t have to worry about food that comes out dry. The technique of cooking is such that it retains most of the moisture of the food.

It is healthier
The healthiest benefit of a pressure cooker is that it doesn’t need oil or any such medium to cook. You may add oil if you want to, but if you want to do without it, it will be perfectly ok. The required amount of water or liquid is all you need to put. The pressure cooker steams, which also is regarded as the healthier way of cooking any food. The way a pressure cooker works, it manages to keep most of the nutritional contents of the food intact.

No worries of food being undercooked
Since the pressure cooker can steam/cook almost even the most solid of foods effortlessly, you don’t have to worry about food remaining undercooked. That itself is a huge relief, because if you are left with an undercooked meal, there happen to be two adverse consequences. One, you have to either cook it again or cook something else, either ways you have to wait for dinner. Second, if you manage to eat that, your stomach may not be very happy with you.

Can cook a complete meal
A pressure cooker is not used to just boil or steam ingredients for the dish eventually to be prepared. There are a million recipes which give out directions to cook a complete dish in the pressure cooker itself, at one go. A simple example for this is vegetable rice. Add the vegetables of your choice, uncooked rice, herbs, spices and salt. Mix in the required level of broth or water. Cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. A Delicious meal awaits you at the end of that time.

The pressure cooker has withstood the test of time and technology as far as its status in the kitchen goes. For many households, the cooking of the first meal of the day starts with the pressure cooker. That enough speaks a lot about this cooking appliance.

4 Diet-Friendly Reasons to Indulge in Guinness

The famous slogan of St. Patrick’s Day’s favorite libation, “Guinness is good for you,” might be more than just nostalgic advertising. While the beer company has gone on the record to say it doesn’t support that claim, research shows that drinking beer in moderation can be healthful in that it decreases your risk of kidney stones, heart disease, and certain cancers, while providing your body with essential nutrients. Here are four more reasons that a pint of Guinness is a good for your health, as well as your taste buds:

1.    It won’t destroy your diet.
Despite its rich flavor and reputation for being heavy ale, Guinness has less carbohydrates and calories than most light beers (yes really!). At just 170 calories per pint, it won’t upset your calorie count as much as wine, orange juice, and reduced-fat milk.

2.    You’re less likely to overindulge.
Most Irishmen and beer connoisseurs would agree that Guinness is meant to be savored. Its hearty, thick consistency ensures you’ll most likely sip this brew instead of embark on a beer-chugging contest. You can nurse one or two pints of this libation and still participate in the St. Patrick’s Day merry-making for hours—and be less tempted to go overboard.

3.    It’s chocked full of essential, heart-healthy nutrients.

We’ve long heard about the health benefits of drinking wine, but it turns out that beer contains all the nutrients of wine—and sometimes in higher doses. According to a Dutch study conducted at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, beer drinkers had 30% higher levels of vitamin B6 in their blood than non-beer drinkers—twice the amount of red-wine drinkers. According to several studies, including one conducted at the Institute of Epidemiology at the University of Muenster, moderate beer drinking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. The reasons are simple: Alcohol can increase HDL—or “good” cholesterol—levels and reduce the chance of arteries hardening and blood thickening—two main contributors to heart attacks. Guinness especially is known as a hearty and nutrient-rich beer so if you’re inclined to get your vitamins through your adult beverages, Guinness is a great choice.

4.    It can help nursing mothers produce milk.

Guinness has traditionally been used to stimulate breast-milk production in nursing women. It might seem like an old wives’ tale, passed down through generations of Irish mothers, but there is evidence to suggest there is some truth to the tip. A small amount of alcohol increases blood flow, which helps to stimulate production. It also calms stress, which can cause mothers to stop producing milk. In addition, Guinness is rich in iron and vitamin B, essential nutrients for milk production.

What is Hypervigilance

Hypervigilance is a large word, but it is easy to understand, and all anxiety-sufferers engage in this act to some degree. So, what is hypervigilance? I’ll spare our readers from a difficult-to-understand book definition of the word and boil it down in this way: hyprevigilance is when an anxiety sufferer is excessively aware of certain things that are anxiety-provoking to that particular sufferer.

Hypervigilance, for the socially anxious person, according to Actforlibraries, means that person is keenly aware of certain things that would provoke his or her social anxiety. For example, that person may be walking down the street and looking at other people’s eyes. When this person sees people looking at him or her in different ways, that person thinks those other people are thinking about “how stupid” (or other negative things) that person is. Hypervigilance means that this person spends way too much time looking for these types of “signs” from other people.

Hypervigilance can vary widely between different types of anxiety sufferers. I do not have as much expertise in regard to panic disorder and generalized anxiety, but my guess is that panic disorder sufferers will be hypervigilant for signs that a panic attack is coming on, which only serves to strengthen the probably that the attack will actually happen. Generalized anxiety suffers may be hypervigilant for certain thoughts, situations, or events such as a small mistake at work, which the anxiety-sufferer may take to mean that he or she is going to be fired.
Hypervigilance, as a concept, is somewhat difficult to explain; however, I hope that these examples have helped to demonstrate what it actually is.

As anxiety sufferers, we are all hypervigilant for certain people, events, or situations that provoke our anxiety. It can play a big role in strengthening one’s anxiety. So, what is a possible solution for hypervigilance?

Easy, all that needs to be done is to shift one’s attention to other things. Instead of attending to the stranger’s scary glance on the street, one can instead attend to the car, the stores, or perhaps a bird flying by. Or, one could become more introspective and think about different things one has to do during the day.

Another strategy one can use to reduce hypervigilance is to instead try more realistic interpretations of certain events that provoke anxiety. For example, instead of taking the stranger’s scary glance in a personal manner and thinking, “My gosh, that person thinks I am an idiot,” one could instead try thinking this: “perhaps that person is just having a bad day and happened to look in my direction,” or “perhaps that person is an anxious person just like myself and is worried by the presence of others.” There are millions of different ways to interpret any situation; if none of these interpretations work for the reader of this article, or if one simply does not like them, the reader can simply come up with his or her own realistic interpretation, so long as it is in fact more realistic and anxiety-reducing.

Hypervigilance is a problem which all of us anxiety-sufferers struggle with on a regular basis. It has a lot to do with magnifying our anxiety levels. The best thing to do is to find one’s own way of interpreting anxiety-provoking cues in a more realistic and anxiety-reducing away, or to instead shift one’s attention to other things. I do not think that it is possible to completely eliminate one’s hypervigilance, however, it is very possible for one to reduce his or her hypervigilance, which will in turn reduce one’s anxiety level.

Good luck to the reader as he or she strives to manage this aspect of anxiety!



Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People | Highly Sensitive

How to Whiten Teeth

There are various teeth whitening products which can help you to whiten your teeth. However, the product you choose will depend on the kind of teeth you have and your budget as some of the teeth whitening products are expensive.

Also, the selection of these products also depends on the kind of white teeth you want as different products provide different results. We will look at the different products that will help you to whiten your teeth.

Difficulty level: Maintaining the whiteness of teeth is difficult as you need to take proper care. However, not many people have the time to take care of their teeth. Thus, if you want whiter teeth you need to take proper care and give up the habit of smoking and drinking. Here are some products that will whiten your teeth

Mouthwashes: These are pre-brush rinses that can be used just before regular brushing. They are not abrasive and contain hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a bleaching agent. You need to swish vigorously for about a minute, and then spit the rinse out.

Teeth whitening Toothpastes: Toothpastes are the cheapest and most preferred teeth brightening products. They have effective bleaching agents (which are not present in standard toothpastes) that help in cleaning teeth stains and preventing teeth discoloration.

Teeth Whitening Pens: These are becoming increasingly popular but are a bit expensive. A teeth whitening pen carries out the task of dental bleaching as it usually contains 12–35% carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agents.

Hydrogen peroxide gets straight into the teeth and flushes all the external strains. Apart from this, it palliates the internal pigments that cause teeth discoloration.

Gels: These are relatively new teeth brightening products, and they have excellent bleaching properties. They not only remove stains from your teeth, but they also prevent them from further discoloration.

Teeth Whitening Strips: These are thin pieces of plastic that are used to cover both the upper and lower arch. They are pre-pasted with a suitable whitening gel that acts as a bleaching agent.

You need to leave this strip on for about 20–30 minutes, and then peel it off. For better results, you use these strips 4–5 times a week. These teeth whitening products can help to whiten your teeth.


10 Teeth Whitening Tips

How to Whiten Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide

10 Oral Hygiene Tips for Healthy, White Teeth | Reader’s Digest

NyQuil Ingredients: Its What Makes Vicks Nyquil So Effective

Vicks Nyquil is an over the counter medication used to combat symptoms of the common cold and the flu. Nyquil ingredients include sedating antihistamines, hypnotics, and alcohol that cause drowsiness.  Therefore the medication is meant to take at night, or before bedtime. “The nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, best-sleep-you-ever-got-with-a-cold medicine”, has been manufactured by Proctor & Gamble since 1966. There are many different varieties of Nyquil available at the drugstore for different symptoms, with slightly different ingredients. This article will focus on the most commonly used Vicks Nyquil, Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief.

The first of its ingredients is acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer that is also known as paracetamol. Both come from the drugs scientific name acetyl-para-aminophenol. It is a widely used analgesic and antipyretic in many over the counter medications, especially in cold and flu medicine. Pain starts to abate approximately 11 minutes after oral administration, and lasts for one to four hours before the effects are lessened.

While safe enough to warrant prescription free use in small doses, acute overdoses can cause permanent liver damage that is worsened by simultaneous alcohol consumption. Acetaminophen poisoning, usually via suicide attempts, is the greatest cause of overdose in North America, Europe, and Australia. A safe dosage of this ingredient is considered to be 1,000 mg per single dose and up to 4,000 mg per day for adults.

Dextromethorphan is one of the main NyQuil ingredients. It is used as a cough suppressant, or antitussive drug. Not only present in Vicks Nyquil, dextromethorphan can be found in most other cough and cold medications. The drug also has many other uses including pain relief and psychological applications.

The cough suppressant is also responsible for one of the most notorious Nyquil side effects, in that it can be used as a dissociative hallucinogen when taken in large doses. This form of hallucinogen blocks signals from conscious parts of the brain that produces a dreamlike state similar to that of ketamine or phencyclidine. This results in this drug found in Nyquil ingredients being used recreationally by a segment of the population.

Side effects of dextromethorphan taken in normal doses are reported to be body rashes or itching, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations when eyes are closed, and in the cases of the very young, sudden infant death syndrome. At higher doses, such as in recreational use, side effects can be hallucinations or disassociation, blurred or double vision, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever, bruxia, hypertension, and urinary retention.

The third of the main ingredients in nyquil is doxylamine, a powerful antihistamine that can also be used as a short term sedative. This ingredient accounts for the sniffling and best sleep you ever got with a cold medicine. The only drug more effective than doxylamine as an antihistamine would be diphenhydramine, or Benadryl. In addition to be used as a night time cold medicine, it can also be prescribed in combination with vitamins to pregnant women in order to treat the symptoms of morning sickness.

Doxylamine belongs to a class of drugs known as hypnotics. Side effects of hypnotics can include dry mouth, urinary retention, ataxia, drowsiness, memory problems, inability to concentrate, hallucinations, psychosis, and hyper sensitivity to ones surrounding environment. It should not be combined with any other antihistamines or used for an extended period of time. This ingredient is considered safe for adults. But it has been reported to cause fatalities in cases of overdose with small children.

Kids are one of the main culprits of spreading the cold and flu virus, thanks to their constant interaction with their peers at school. Considering all of the side effects that are possible with the administration of Nyquil, it is better for children to use Children’s Nyquil, rather than an adult version such as Vicks Cold and Cough. Even then, always read the label carefully and do not administer more than the prescribed dosage. The very young ones should never be given cough medicine without advice from a pediatrician. Never use Nyquil to make a child go to sleep!

The children’s version is the only line that does not contain any alcohol. It is available only in syrup form. Children’s Nyquil ingredients include dextromethorphan and a kind of antihistamine known as chlorpheniramine. This is a second generation antihistamine with less powerful effects of the first generation antihistamine doxylamine that is typically administered to adults. It is also commonly used by veterinarians to treat small animals.  Some studies show it can be used as a mild antidepressant.

Prior to 2006, this cold relief used to include a nasal decongestant called pseudoephedrine, which is also found in the medication Sudafed. Unfortunately it was also one of the main ingredients in crystal meth, and following the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2006, all medications containing pseudoephedrine must be kept behind the counter. In addition, all purchases are strictly monitored.

Vicks recently chose to replace this ingredient with a drug known as phenylephrine, which is only present in Vicks Sinus LiquiCaps.

The non-active nyquil ingredients can be found on the label. The original flavor of Vicks NyQuil Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief contains Acesulfame Potassium, Alcohol, Citric Acid, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Green No. 3, FD&C Yellow No. 6, Flavor, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water, Saccharin Sodium, Sodium Citrate; in addition to the three drugs discussed previously.

Cherry flavored Cold and Flu Nyquil include ingredients such as Acesulfame Potassium, Alcohol, Citric Acid, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, Flavor, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water, Saccharin Sodium, Sodium Citrate; in addition to the active ingredients.

Did you know that one 30 mL dose of this cold and flu medicine also contains some nutrients? Not many, but there is 5 mg potassium and 37 mg sodium in the original flavor, and 5 mg potassium and 38 mg sodium in the cherry. This makes cherry the slightly saltier version of Vicks Nyquil.

To avoid liver damage, the maximum daily amount that an adult should take in one day is four doses. Do not combine it with other medications containing acetaminophen, and avoid an excess of three alcoholic drinks in combination with any Nyquil ingredients.

Do not take it if you are on a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor, which can be used to treat certain emotional conditions or Parkinson’s disease.

Consult with your physician before using it if suffering from liver disease, glaucoma, a severe cough with excessive phlegm, breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema, trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate, or if on a sodium restricted diet. Likewise, someone on the blood thinning drug Warfarin, or anyone on a sedative or tranquilizer should consult with a doctor or pharmacist before beginning treatment with NyQuil.

According to Vicks, the side effects can include excitability in children and marked drowsiness in adults. To reduce these effects, it is best to avoid alcohol if possible. You can see the details about alcohol and Nyquil. Anyone taking this medicine should be careful when driving or operating machinery. It would probably be best to avoid these activities as well.

If your pain has worsened over a period of seven days while taking Nyquil, it would be best to stop taking the drug and consult a doctor. This includes rashes, swelling, and a persistent head ache.