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aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine (Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula)?

Do not use this medication if you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Serious, life threatening side effects can occur if you use a cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to aspirin, chlorpheniramine, or phenylephrine; or if you have:

  • a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding;
  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or
  • if you are unable to urinate.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine if you have:

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Aspirin may be harmful to an unborn baby's heart, and may also reduce birth weight or have other dangerous effects. Do not take any medication that contains aspirin during the last 3 months of pregnancy without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

Aspirin should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye's syndrome in children.

How should I take aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine (Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula)?

Use this medication as directed on the label, or as your doctor has prescribed. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Dissolve the effervescent tablet in a glass of water and drink it right away. Do not chew or swallow the tablet whole.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse, especially if you have:

  • a sore throat that lasts longer than 2 days;
  • a sore throat with a fever and headache, nausea, vomiting, or skin rash; or
  • a cough, stuffy nose, and pain that lasts longer than 7 days.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you are taking medicine that contains aspirin. You may need to stop taking the medicine for a short time.

Store aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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.

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