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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ah-Chew D, Dimetapp Cold Drops, Lusonal, Nasop, Nasop12, PediaCare Children's Decongestant, Phenyl-T, Sudafed PE, Sudafed PE Children's Nasal Decongestant, Sudafed PE Quick Dissolve, Sudogest PE, Triaminic Thin Strips Cold

Generic Name: phenylephrine (Pronunciation: FEN il EFF rin)

What is phenylephrine (Ah-Chew D, Dimetapp Cold Drops, Lusonal, Nasop, Nasop12, PediaCare Children's Decongestant, Phenyl-T, Sudafed PE, Sudafed PE Children's Nasal Decongestant, Sudafed PE Quick Dissolve, Sudogest PE, Triaminic Thin Strips Cold)?

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

Phenylephrine is used to treat nasal congestion and sinus pressure caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu. Phenylephrine may be used to treat congestion of the tubes that drain fluid from your inner ears, called the eustachian (yoo-STAY-shun) tubes.

Phenylephrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of 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 phenylephrine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe dizziness, restless feeling, nervousness, or insomnia;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • tremors or shaking;
  • numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;
  • feeling excited or restless (especially in children);
  • upset stomach; or
  • mild sleep problems.

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 phenylephrine?

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.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to phenylephrine.

Do not use phenylephrine if you have used linezolid (Zyvox) or procarbazine (Matulane), or if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) 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 take phenylephrine before these other drugs have cleared from your body.

Before you take phenylephrine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any decongestants, or if you have heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, high blood pressure, circulation problems, diabetes, glaucoma, a thyroid disorder, kidney disease, an enlarged prostate or urination problems, anxiety, sleep problems, bipolar disorder or other mental illness.

Phenylephrine may interact with heart or blood pressure medications, antidepressants, diabetes medications, migraine headache medications, and other decongestants.

Never take more of the medicine than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of using phenylephrine, or if they get worse and your also have a fever.



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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