Generic Name: phenylephrine (fen-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Neo-Synephrine and Rhinall
Phenylephrine solution is used for:
Relieving nasal congestion due to colds, flu, hay fever, and other allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Phenylephrine solution is a decongestant. It works by shrinking swollen and congested nasal tissues by constricting blood vessels. This results in relief of congestion (stuffy feeling) and improved breathing through the nose.
Do NOT use phenylephrine solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in phenylephrine solution
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using phenylephrine solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with phenylephrine solution. 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, prostate problems, high blood pressure, or an overactive thyroid
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with phenylephrine solution. 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 the effectiveness of phenylephrine solution may be decreased
- Cocaine, furazolidone, methyldopa, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the actions and side effects of phenylephrine solution may be increased
- Bromocriptine, COMT inhibitors (eg, entacapone), cocaine, or droxidopa because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Guanethidine because its effectiveness may be decreased by phenylephrine solution
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if phenylephrine solution 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 solution:
Use phenylephrine solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- To use nose drops, gently blow your nose. Lie down and tilt your head back. Breathe through your mouth. Insert the dropper tip in the nose no more than 1/3 inch. Try not to touch the dropper tip to the inside of your nose. Place the correct number of drops in your nose. Continue to lie down with your head tilted back for 2 minutes.
- To use a nose spray, gently blow your nose. Sit down and tilt your head back slightly. Place the tip of the spray container into the nose. Using a finger from your other hand, press against the opposite nostril to close it off. Breathe gently through the open nostril and squeeze the spray container. If you are using more than 1 spray, wait for 1 to 2 minutes between sprays. After using the medicine, rinse the tip of the spray unit in hot water and dry with a clean tissue to prevent contamination.
- If you miss a dose of phenylephrine solution and are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is much more than 1 hour since your missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use phenylephrine solution.
Important safety information:
- Do not use phenylephrine solution for more than 3 days unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
- Do not use phenylephrine solution if it is brown or contains particles.
- Phenylephrine solution is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 6 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using phenylephrine solution during pregnancy. It is unknown if phenylephrine solution is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using phenylephrine solution, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of phenylephrine solution:
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:
Burning or stinging in nose; dizziness; headache; increased discharge from nose; sneezing.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; 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.Proper storage of phenylephrine solution:
Store phenylephrine solution 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 solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about phenylephrine solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Phenylephrine solution 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 solution 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 solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to phenylephrine solution. 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 solution.
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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- Drug class: nasal antihistamines and decongestants