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Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold

Generic Name: Chlorpheniramine, Phenylephrine, Aspirin (KLOR fen IR a meen/FEN il EF rin/AS pir in)
Brand Name: Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold, EQ Effervescent Cold Relief

Uses of Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold:

  • It is used to treat nose stuffiness.
  • It is used to ease allergy signs.
  • It is used to ease pain and fever.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold?

  • If you have an allergy to Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold (chlorpheniramine, phenylephrine, aspirin) or any part of this medicine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.
  • If you are more than 24 weeks pregnant.
  • If you are taking any other NSAID.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not take Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of heart and blood vessel side effects like heart attack and stroke. If these happen, they can be deadly. The risk of these side effects may be greater if you have heart disease or risks for heart disease. However, the risk may also be raised in people who do not have heart disease or risks for heart disease. The risk of these health problems can happen as soon as the first weeks of using this medicine and may be greater with higher doses or with long-term use. Do not use Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold right before or after bypass heart surgery.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel side effects like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people. The risk is also greater in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs. Talk with the doctor.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • If you are taking aspirin to stop a heart attack, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet, talk with your doctor.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Do not give to a child younger than 12 years of age.
  • Do not give to children and teenagers who have or are getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections due to the chance of Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome causes very bad problems to the brain and liver.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Melt in 1/2cup (4 ounces/120 mL) of water. Drink after the tablets have melted all the way.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold (chlorpheniramine, phenylephrine, aspirin) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this medicine is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.

What are some other side effects of Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Belly pain or heartburn.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold. 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 the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold.

Review Date: September 6, 2017

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