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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Alka-Seltzer Cold and Sinus, Allerest No Drowsiness, Bayer Select Decongestant, Benadryl Allergy Sinus Headache, Dristan Cold Non-Drowsy, Ornex, Ornex Maximum Strength, Sinarest Sinus, Sine-Off Maximum Strength, Tavist Sinus, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Sinus

Generic Name: acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine (Pronunciation: a SEET a MIN oh fen and SOO doe ee FED rin)

What is acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine (Alka-Seltzer Cold and Sinus, Allerest No Drowsiness, Bayer Select Decongestant, Benadryl Allergy Sinus Headache, Dristan Cold Non-Drowsy, Ornex, Ornex Maximum Strength, Sinarest Sinus, Sine-Off Maximum Strength, Tavist Sinus, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Sinus)?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine is a combination medicine used to treat headache, fever, body aches, stuffy nose, and sinus congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • tremor, seizure (convulsions);
  • little or no urinating;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, seizure).

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, weakness;
  • mild headache;
  • mild nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach;
  • runny nose;
  • feeling nervous, restless, or anxious; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine?

Ask a doctor before taking medicine that contains acetaminophen if you have ever had liver disease, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day.

You should not use this medicine if you have untreated or uncontrolled diseases such as glaucoma, asthma or COPD, high blood pressure, heart disease, coronary artery disease, or overactive thyroid.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.

Do not use cold medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.



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