Efficacy of a single evening dose of syrup containing paracetamol, dextromethorphan hydrobromide, doxylamine succinate and ephedrine sulfate in subjects with multiple common cold symptoms

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Apr;45(4):230-6. doi: 10.5414/cpp45230.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a single night-time dose of a syrup containing paracetamol, dextromethorphan hydrobromide, doxylamine succinate and ephedrine sulfate in subjects with multiple cold symptoms.

Materials: A syrup containing 15 mg dextromethorphan hydrobromide, 7.5 mg doxylamine succinate, 600 mg paracetamol and 8 mg ephedrine sulfate (Wick MediNait produced by WICK Pharma, Germany, a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble GmbH; test syrup) or placebo (placebo syrup) for oral administration.

Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center, parallel design study. At enrollment, eligible subjects had to have at least moderate nasal congestion and a runny nose, at least mild cough and at least mild pain with one or more of the following: sore throat, sore chest, headache or body pain/aches. Subjects were randomized into either Group T (test syrup) or Group P (placebo syrup). On the evening of enrollment, subjects rated baseline symptoms, ingested the assigned study product and completed symptom-relief assessments at 3 hours post-dosing. Within one hour of awakening the following morning, subjects completed night-time symptom relief and sleep satisfaction assessments. All symptoms were recorded using an Interactive Voice Response system. Treatment comparisons were made after adjusting for the severity of baseline symptom using analysis of covariance.

Results: Of 485 subjects who took the study product, 432 (224 in Group T; 208 in Group P) were evaluable for analysis. For the primary endpoint (composite of nasal congestion/runny nose/cough/pain relief scores 3 hours post-dosing), subjects in Group T had clinically and statistically significantly greater relief than Group P (p = 0.0002). Each individual symptom score also showed statistically significant improvement at this time point (p < or = 0.017). The next morning, Group T continued to show clinically and statistically significant benefits over Group P on the composite score and each of the individual symptoms (p < or = 0.003). Evidence of benefit with the test syrup was also seen in the higher score for overall night-time relief (p < 0.0001) and greater satisfaction on sleep (p = 0.002) compared to placebo syrup. Improvement in individual symptoms after 3 hours was obtained in 16-42% more subjects in Group T than in Group P, whereas the percentage of subjects in Group T having Good or Very Good relief the morning after dosing increased by 25-68% compared to subjects in Group P. 14 subjects (5 in Group T; 9 in Group P) reported AEs but none of these occurred with an incidence greater than 1%. There were no serious AEs.

Conclusions: The results confirm the multisymptom benefit of a single dose of the test syrup containing paracetamol, dextromethorphan hydrobromide, doxylamine succinate and ephedrine sulfate and support its role as an effective and convenient therapy for symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose, cough and pain/body aches associated with the common cold and for increasing sleep quality disturbed by the common cold.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Antitussive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Common Cold / complications
  • Common Cold / drug therapy*
  • Dextromethorphan / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Doxylamine / analogs & derivatives
  • Doxylamine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ephedrine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Antitussive Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Acetaminophen
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Doxylamine
  • Ephedrine
  • doxylamine succinate