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chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine?

Do not use chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine 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 are allergic to chlorpheniramine or phenylephrine, or if you have:

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
  • severe coronary artery disease;
  • narrow angle glaucoma;
  • a stomach ulcer;
  • if you are unable to urinate; or
  • if you are having an asthma attack.

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

It is not known whether chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine is harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication with a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether 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.

Artificially sweetened liquid cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), check the medication label to see if the product contains phenylalanine.

How should I take chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine?

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. Cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

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.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before swallowing.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.

This medication can cause unusual results with allergy skin tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking an antihistamine.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cold 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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