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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: 4-Way, 4-Way Menthol, Afrin 4 Hour Extra Moisturizing, Little Noses Decongestant, Neo-Synephrine Extra Strength Nasal, Neo-Synephrine Mild Nasal, Neo-Synephrine Nasal, Sinex Nasal Spray, Sinex Ultra Fine Mist

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

What is phenylephrine nasal (4-Way, 4-Way Menthol, Afrin 4 Hour Extra Moisturizing, Little Noses Decongestant, Neo-Synephrine Extra Strength Nasal, Neo-Synephrine Mild Nasal, Neo-Synephrine Nasal, Sinex Nasal Spray, Sinex Ultra Fine Mist)?

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

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

What are the possible side effects of phenylephrine nasal?

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 sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, redness or swelling in your nose, or other worsening nasal symptoms (may be a sign of overuse of phenylephrine nasal);
  • severe stinging, burning, or irritation inside your nose;
  • severe dizziness, restless feeling, nervousness, or insomnia;
  • mood changes, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • slow, fast, or pounding heartbeat;
  • tremors or shaking; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • temporary sneezing;
  • mild burning, dryness, cold feeling, or irritation inside your nose;
  • headache, dizziness, weakness;
  • sweating, nausea;
  • feeling excited or restless (especially in children); 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 nasal?

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough or cold medicine in very young children.

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

Do not use phenylephrine nasal 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 use phenylephrine before these other drugs have cleared from your body.

Before using phenylephrine nasal, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any decongestants, or if you have heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, a thyroid disorder, or an enlarged prostate or urination problems.

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

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

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 days of using phenylephrine nasal, or if they get worse and you also have a fever. Using phenylephrine nasal too long can damage the lining of your nasal passages and lead to chronic nasal congestion.



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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