Generic Name: phenylephrine (FEN-il-EF-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Contac-D and Sudafed PE
Phenylephrine tablets are used for:
Relieving congestion due to colds, flu, hay fever, and other allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Phenylephrine tablets are 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 tablets if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in phenylephrine tablets
- you have had an unusual reaction (eg, dizziness, weakness, tremors, irregular heartbeat) to another sympathomimetic medicine (eg, pseudoephedrine)
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days
- you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, fast heartbeat, or severe heart problems
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using phenylephrine tablets:
Some medical conditions may interact with phenylephrine tablets. 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 history of glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, enlarged prostate gland or other prostate problems, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood vessel problems, adrenal gland problems, overactive thyroid, seizures, or stroke
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with phenylephrine tablets. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), furazolidone, indomethacin, methyldopa, or MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) because they may increase the risk of phenylephrine tablets's side effects
- Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may decrease phenylephrine tablets's effectiveness
- Digoxin or droxidopa because the risk of irregular heartbeat or heart attack may be increased
- Bromocriptine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by phenylephrine tablets
- Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because their effectiveness may be decreased by phenylephrine tablets
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if phenylephrine tablets 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 tablets:
Use phenylephrine tablets as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take phenylephrine tablets by mouth with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of phenylephrine tablets 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 tablets.
Important safety information:
- Phenylephrine tablets may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use phenylephrine tablets with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- 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 7 days or if you develop a high fever, check with your doctor.
- Phenylephrine tablets has phenylephrine in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Do not take diet or appetite control medicines while you are taking phenylephrine tablets.
- If you have trouble sleeping, ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best time to take phenylephrine tablets.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take phenylephrine tablets before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Diabetes patients - Phenylephrine tablets may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Use phenylephrine tablets with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Caution is advised when using phenylephrine tablets in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Different brands of phenylephrine tablets 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.
- Phenylephrine tablets 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 tablets while you are pregnant. Phenylephrine tablets are found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking phenylephrine tablets.
Possible side effects of phenylephrine tablets:
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:
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); fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; tremor; trouble urinating.
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 right away. Symptoms may include confusion; hallucinations; irregular or unusually slow or rapid heartbeat; rapid breathing; seizures.Proper storage of phenylephrine tablets:
Store phenylephrine tablets 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 tablets out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about phenylephrine tablets, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Phenylephrine tablets are 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 tablets 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 tablets. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to phenylephrine tablets. 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 tablets.
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.
More about phenylephrine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 9 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: decongestants
- Phenylephrine chewable tablets
- Phenylephrine dissolving tablets
- Phenylephrine drops
- Phenylephrine liquid
- More... (4)
- Phenylephrine Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
- Phenylephrine Hydrochloride Injection (FDA)
- Phenylephrine (Systemic) (Wolters Kluwer)