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Little Noses Decongestant

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

What is Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal)?

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 is the most important information I should know about Little Noses Decongestant (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.

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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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal)?

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.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have:

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;

  • high blood pressure;

  • diabetes;

  • glaucoma;

  • a thyroid disorder; or

  • an enlarged prostate or urination problems.

FDA pregnancy category C. Is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Before using phenylephrine nasal, tell doctor if you are pregnant.

Phenylephrine nasal may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

How should I use Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal)?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cold medicine should be used only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

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.

Phenylephrine nasal is usually used every 4 hours. Follow the directions on the medicine label. Never use more of this medicine than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor. Using phenylephrine nasal too long can damage the lining of your nasal passages and lead to chronic nasal congestion.

Gently blow your nose to clear any mucus before using this medication.

To use the nasal spray, insert the tip of the spray bottle into your nostril, past the middle of the inside of your nose (the nasal septum). Gently press your other nostril closed with your finger.

Keep your head upright, and squeeze the bottle while breathing in deeply through your nose. Sniff quickly a few times to get the medicine deep into your nasal passages.

Repeat these steps to use the medicine in your other nostril if needed.

After each use, clean the tip of the spray bottle with a clean tissue or rinse it with hot water, making sure that no water gets into the medicine bottle. Keep the cap on the bottle when not in use.

To use the nasal drops, lie on your back with your head tilted back. Insert the correct number of drops and remain lying in this position for several minutes. Gently turn your head from side to side.

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.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have used phenylephrine nasal within the past few days.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

To prevent the spread of infection, do not share this medication with anyone else.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since phenylephrine nasal is usually used only when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe dizziness or drowsiness, slow heart rate, and fainting.

What should I avoid while using Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal)?

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, or allergy medicine. Phenylephrine is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains phenylephrine.

Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal) side effects

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Little Noses Decongestant (phenylephrine nasal)?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • other decongestants;

  • medicine to treat diabetes;

  • medicines to treat high blood pressure such as reserpine, guanethidine (Ismelin), methyldopa (Aldomet), and others; or

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with phenylephrine nasal. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about phenylephrine nasal.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2011-01-05, 3:14:56 PM.

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