Generic Name: phenylephrine (FEN-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Dimetapp Decongestant and Little Colds Decongestant
Phenylephrine drops is used for:
Relieving congestion due to colds, flu, and allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Phenylephrine drops is a decongestant. It works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages, allowing you to breathe more easily.
Do NOT use phenylephrine drops if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in phenylephrine drops
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days
- you have high blood pressure or an abnormally fast heartbeat
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using phenylephrine drops:
Some medical conditions may interact with phenylephrine drops. 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 heart disease, diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), an adrenal gland tumor, or thyroid disease
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with phenylephrine drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine) or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may decrease phenylephrine drops's effectiveness
- Cocaine, furazolidone, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), methyldopa, oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of phenylephrine drops's side effects
- Bromocriptine, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), or droxidopa because the risk of their side effects may be increased by phenylephrine drops
- Guanethidine because its effectiveness may be decreased by phenylephrine drops
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if phenylephrine drops 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 phenylephrine drops:
Use phenylephrine drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take phenylephrine drops by mouth with food, water, or milk to reduce stomach irritation.
- Use the dropper that comes with phenylephrine drops to measure your dose. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
- If you miss a dose of phenylephrine drops and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use phenylephrine drops.
Important safety information:
- Phenylephrine drops may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use phenylephrine drops with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- If your symptoms do not get better within 7 days or if you develop a high fever, check with your doctor.
- If you have trouble sleeping, ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best time to take phenylephrine drops.
- Do not take diet or appetite control medicines while you are taking phenylephrine drops.
- Some of these products contain phenylalanine. If you must have a diet that is low in phenylalanine, ask your pharmacist if it is in your product.
- Diabetes patients - Phenylephrine drops may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Use phenylephrine drops with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Phenylephrine drops should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using phenylephrine drops while you are pregnant. It is not known if phenylephrine drops is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use phenylephrine drops, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking phenylephrine drops. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you stop taking phenylephrine drops suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include depression.
Possible side effects of phenylephrine drops:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Difficulty urinating; dizziness; headache; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; sleeplessness; stomach irritation.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).
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 confusion; hallucinations; irregular or unusually slow or rapid heartbeat; rapid breathing; seizures.Proper storage of phenylephrine drops:
Store phenylephrine drops at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep phenylephrine drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about phenylephrine drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Phenylephrine drops 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 phenylephrine drops 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 phenylephrine drops. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to phenylephrine drops. 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 phenylephrine drops.
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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