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aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking this medicine (Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula)?

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You should not use this medication if you have severe constipation, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, stomach or intestinal bleeding, a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, or if you are unable to urinate.

Do 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.

Aspirin may cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are taking aspirin, especially in older adults.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medication if you have:

  • heartburn, stomach pain, indigestion, ulcer, or other stomach problems;
  • a colostomy or ileostomy;
  • diabetes;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • cough with mucus, or cough caused by emphysema, smoking, or chronic bronchitis;
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • pheochromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor);
  • if you are on a low-salt diet; or
  • if you take potassium (Cytra, Epiklor, K-Lyte, K-Phos, Kaon, Klor-Con, Polycitra, Urocit-K).

FDA pregnancy category C. Aspirin may be harmful to an unborn baby's heart, and may also reduce birth weight or have other dangerous effects. Do not use this medicine without medical advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether aspirin, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Antihistamines and decongestants may also slow breast milk production. Do not use this medicine without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 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.

How should I take this medicine (Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula)?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. This medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Do not take for longer than 7 days in a row. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a sore throat that lasts longer than 2 days, or a sore throat with a fever and headache, nausea, vomiting, or skin rash.

Drop the effervescent tablets into a glass of water (at least 4 ounces, or one-half cup). Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken this medicine within the past few days.

Store 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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