We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Guaifenesin?

By R. Anacan
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Guaifenesin is a medication that is most commonly used to loosen mucus and phlegm and to clear the symptoms of congestion resulting from a cold or allergy. It is considered an expectorant and works by thinning mucus and phlegm in the body. The thinning action makes it easier for the body to expel excess mucus and phlegm, generally through coughing or the blowing of the nose.

This medication was originally derived from the bark of the guaiacum tree and is believed to have been first used in the 1500s for the treatment of ailments such as rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Today, guaifenesin may be found in pill or liquid form, or it may be combined with other forms of medication such as codeine or pseudoephedrine, to provide relief from cold, flu and allergy symptoms. Lower doses of the medication may be purchased over-the-counter, while higher doses may only be available with a prescription.

Guaifenesin is also believed by some to be a useful component of a fibromyalgia treatment program. Fibromyalgia is a condition categorized, in part, by chronic pain and fatigue, swelling of joints and muscles, sleep difficulty, and problems with the skin, eyes and the digestive system. Those who recommend taking this medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia believe that it may help to reduce the swelling and pain commonly associated with the condition.

Proponents of what is sometimes known as the guaifenesin protocol believe that some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially the chronic pain and swelling of the joints and muscles, are caused by calcium phosphate deposits in the body. According to this theory, if the body is not able to properly remove the excess levels of phosphate, it combines with calcium in the muscles, causing swelling and pain. Guaifenesin is believed to help remove phosphates from the body; therefore proponents of the protocol suggest that taking it will help the body eliminate the calcium phosphate deposits that cause pain and swelling.

There appears to be no major scientific studies that prove that guaifenesin can alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. In fact, some studies show that subjects using the medication had no appreciable difference in relief of their fibromyalgia symptoms over those subjects that were given placebos. However, there are reports of people who have experienced relief by using guaifenesin. With so much varied and differing information, it is recommended that those interested in using guaifenesin as part of a fibromyalgia treatment program discuss the situation with their doctor or health care provider.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anacan — On Apr 21, 2010

I believe the article stated the fact that there are no major studies that show a definitive, widespread benefit to using guaifenesin by those with fibromyalgia.

However, because some people (such as yourself) have seen benefits from using guaifenesin, we recommended that anyone interested in the protocol consult with their doctor. Believe me, I am very familiar with fibromyalgia and would not want to steer anyone away from something that has been shown to improve symptoms.

I am thrilled that you have been reversed from fibromyalgia as it can be so debilitating.

By anon69107 — On Mar 06, 2010

It is great that you mention the guaifenesin protocol, but you are not doing anyone any justice by not including that in order to do the

protocol properly, you must not rub plant oils, plant gels, or plant extracts on your skin in order for it to work.

I am fully reversed from Fibo since sept. 2005 because I did it properly. If you don't, it will give the guia protocol a bad name and people won't think it works when it can.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.