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Ibuprofen and phenylephrine

Generic Name: ibuprofen and phenylephrine (EYE buye pro fen and FEN il EFF rin)
Brand Name: Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain, Congestion Relief, Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Aug 3, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is ibuprofen and phenylephrine?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Phenylephrine is a decongestant.

Ibuprofen and phenylephrine is a combination medicine used to treat stuffy nose, sinus congestion, headache, fever, and minor aches and pains caused by the common cold or flu.

Ibuprofen and phenylephrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use ibuprofen and phenylephrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Ibuprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Ibuprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.

Before taking this medicine

Ibuprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Ibuprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using ibuprofen, especially in older adults.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ibuprofen or phenylephrine, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

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

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes;

  • a heart attack or stroke;

  • a stomach ulcer or bleeding;

  • asthma;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • if you drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day.

Taking ibuprofen during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Do not use ibuprofen and phenylephrine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

Ibuprofen and phenylephrine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

How should I take ibuprofen and phenylephrine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Take ibuprofen and phenylephrine with a full glass of water.

Take with food or milk if this medicine upsets your stomach.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken this medicine within the past few days.

Call your doctor if you have a fever lasting longer than 3 days, or if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of taking this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since cold medicine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking ibuprofen and phenylephrine?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin unless your doctor tells you to.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other cough or cold medicines that may contain similar ingredients.

Ibuprofen and phenylephrine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, feeling light-headed, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, leg swelling, feeling short of breath.

Stop using ibuprofen and phenylephrine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe dizziness or nervousness, trouble sleeping;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • shortness of breath;

  • new or worsening stomach pain; or

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, stomach pain;

  • dizziness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • feeling nervous or excited.

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.

What other drugs will affect ibuprofen and phenylephrine?

Ask your doctor before using ibuprofen and phenylephrine if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using ibuprofen and phenylephrine with any other medications, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect ibuprofen and phenylephrine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.