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Diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips

Generic Name: diphenhydramine/phenylephrine (DYE-fen-HYE-dra-meen/FEN-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Children's Triaminic Cough/Cold Nighttime and Theraflu Cold/Cough Nighttime

Diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips is used for:

Relieving symptoms of sinus congestion, pressure, runny nose, and sneezing due to colds, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips is an antihistamine and decongestant combination. The antihistamine works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing. The decongestant promotes sinus and nasal drainage, which relieves congestion and pressure.

Do NOT use diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips
  • you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB) or you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips:

Some medical conditions may interact with diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • if you have a history of asthma; lung problems (eg, emphysema); sleep apnea; adrenal gland problems (eg, adrenal gland tumor); heart problems; high blood pressure; diabetes; heart blood vessel problems; stroke; glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye; a blockage of your bladder, stomach, or intestines; ulcers; trouble sleeping; trouble urinating; an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems; seizures; or thyroid problems
  • if you have a chronic cough or a cough that occurs with a large amount of mucus

Some medical conditions may interact with diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • Digoxin or droxidopa because the risk of irregular heartbeat or heart attack may be increased
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, tolcapone), furazolidone, indomethacin, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), sodium oxybate (GHB), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips's side effects
  • Bromocriptine or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips
  • Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because their effectiveness may be decreased by diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips:

Use diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not remove the strip from the pouch until you are ready to take diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. Make sure that your hands are dry when you open diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. Remove and place the strip on the tongue. The strip dissolves quickly (and it can be swallowed with saliva). Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may be taken with or without water. Take the strip immediately after opening the pouch. Do not store the strip for future use.
  • If you miss a dose of diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips, take it as soon as you remember. Continue to take it as directed by your doctor or on the package label.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips.

Important safety information:

  • Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do not take diet or appetite control medicines while you are taking diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips without checking with your doctor.
  • Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips has diphenhydramine and phenylephrine in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has diphenhydramine or phenylephrine in it too. This includes topical medicines (eg, creams). If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 5 to 7 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • If cough persists for more than 1 week or occurs with a fever or persistent headache, contact your doctor. A persistent cough could be a sign of a serious condition.
  • Do not use diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips for a cough with a lot of mucus. Do not use it for a long-term cough (eg, caused by asthma, emphysema, smoking). However, you may use it for these conditions if your doctor tells you to.
  • Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may interfere with skin allergy tests. If you are scheduled for a skin test, talk to your doctor. You may need to stop taking diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips for a few days before the tests.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excitability, low blood pressure, and trouble urinating.
  • Caution is advised when using diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitability.
  • Different brands of diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips may have different dosing instructions for CHILDREN. Follow the dosing instructions on the package labeling. If your doctor has given you instructions, follow those. If you are unsure of the dose to give a child, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips while you are pregnant. Do not take diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips in the third trimester of pregnancy. Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips.

Possible side effects of diphenhydramine/ phenylephrine strips:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; excitability; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; mood or mental changes; persistent trouble sleeping; restlessness; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; tremor.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; hallucinations; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular breathing; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.

Proper storage of diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips:

Store diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using diphenhydramine/phenylephrine strips.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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