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All about: Phenylephrine Nasal

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Alconefrin Nasal Drops 12
  • Alconefrin Nasal Drops 25
  • Alconefrin Nasal Drops 50
  • Alconefrin Nasal Spray 25
  • Doktors
  • Duration
  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Drops
  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Jelly
  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Spray
  • Neo-Synephrine Pediatric Nasal Drops
  • Nostril Spray Pump
  • Nostril Spray Pump Mild
  • Rhinall
  • Rhinall-10 Children's Flavored Nose Drops
  • Vicks Sinex

In Canada—

  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Drops
  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Spray

Generic name product may be available in the U.S.

Category

  • Decongestant, topical

Description

Phenylephrine (fen-ill-EF-rin) is used for the temporary relief of congestion or stuffiness in the nose caused by hay fever or other allergies, colds, or sinus trouble. It may also be used in ear infections to relieve congestion.

This medicine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

This medicine is available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use or dose for your medical condition.

Phenylephrine is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Nasal
  • Nasal jelly (U.S.)
  • Nasal drops (U.S. and Canada)
  • Nasal spray (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

If you are using this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For nasal phenylephrine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to phenylephrine or to any other nasal decongestant. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Nasal phenylephrine may be absorbed into the body. However, nasal phenylephrine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding—Nasal phenylephrine may be absorbed into the body. However, it is not known whether phenylephrine passes into the breast milk. This medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Children may be especially sensitive to the effects of nasal phenylephrine. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of nasal phenylephrine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of nasal phenylephrine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • High blood pressure or
  • Overactive thyroid—Nasal phenylephrine may make the condition worse

Proper Use of This Medicine

To use the nose drops :

  • Blow your nose gently. Tilt the head back while standing or sitting up, or lie down on a bed and hang head over the side. Place the drops into each nostril and keep the head tilted back for a few minutes to allow the medicine to spread throughout the nose.
  • Rinse the dropper with hot water and dry with a clean tissue. Replace the cap right after use.
  • To avoid spreading the infection, do not use the container for more than one person.

To use the nose spray :

  • Blow your nose gently. With the head upright, spray the medicine into each nostril. Sniff briskly while squeezing the bottle quickly and firmly. For best results, spray once or twice into each nostril and wait 3 to 5 minutes to allow the medicine to work. Then, blow your nose gently and thoroughly. Repeat until the complete dose is used.
  • Rinse the tip of the spray bottle with hot water, taking care not to suck water into the bottle, and dry with a clean tissue. Replace the cap right after use.
  • To avoid spreading the infection, do not use the container for more than one person.

To use the nose jelly :

  • Blow your nose gently. Wash your hands before applying the medicine. With your finger, place a small amount of jelly (about the size of a pea) up each nostril. Sniff it well back into the nose.
  • Wipe the tip of the tube with a clean, damp tissue and replace the cap right after use.

Use this medicine only as directed . Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for longer than 3 days without first checking with your doctor. To do so may make your runny or stuffy nose worse and may also increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing—The dose of nasal phenylephrine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of nasal phenylephrine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For stuffy nose:
    • For nose jelly dosage form:
      • Adults—Use a small amount in the nose every three or four hours as needed.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.
    • For nose drops dosage form:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—Use two or three drops of a 0.25 to 0.5% solution in the nose every four hours as needed.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—Use two or three drops of a 0.25% solution in the nose every four hours as needed.
      • Children 2 to 6 years of age—Use two or three drops of a 0.125 or 0.16% solution in the nose every four hours as needed.
      • Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For nose spray dosage form:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—Use two or three sprays of a 0.25 to 0.5% solution in the nose every four hours as needed.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—Use two or three sprays of a 0.25% solution in the nose every four hours as needed.
      • Children up to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you are using this medicine on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, use it right away if you remember within an hour or so of the missed dose. However, if you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

When this medicine is used for short periods of time at low doses, side effects usually are rare. However, check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following occur:

Increase in runny or stuffy nose

Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body

Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; headache or dizziness; increased sweating; nervousness; paleness; trembling; trouble in sleeping

Note:

The above side effects are more likely to occur in children because there is a greater chance that too much of this medicine may be absorbed into the body.

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Burning, dryness, or stinging of inside of nose

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.

Revised: 05/16/1994

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