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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Alahist LQ, Aldex-CT, Children's Triacting Night Time, Dimetapp Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Diphenmax D, D-Tann, Dytan-D, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold Children's, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold Pediatric, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough

Generic Name: diphenhydramine and phenylephrine (Pronunciation: DYE fen HYE dra meenand FEN il EFF rin)

What is diphenhydramine and phenylephrine (Alahist LQ, Aldex-CT, Children's Triacting Night Time, Dimetapp Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Diphenmax D, D-Tann, Dytan-D, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold Children's, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold Pediatric, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough)?

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

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

The combination of diphenhydramine and phenylephrine is used to treat runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and sinus congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Diphenhydramine and phenylephrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of diphenhydramine and phenylephrine?

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

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure); or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, stomach pain, constipation;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • mild loss of appetite;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • feeling excited or restless;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • skin rash or itching.

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 diphenhydramine and phenylephrine?

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.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or sleep medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of one or more types of medicine. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains an antihistamine, decongestant, or cough suppressant.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking this medication. It can add to drowsiness caused by an antihistamine.

Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice. Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as other cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by diphenhydramine.



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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