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All about: Congestant

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Generic Name: Chlorpheniramine/Acetaminophen Tablets (klor-fen-IHR-ah-meen /a-seet-a-MIN-oh-fen)
Brand Name: Examples include Congestant and Coricidin HBP Cold/Flu

Congestant is used for:

Relieving pain and other symptoms such as runny nose and sneezing due to colds, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. It may also used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Congestant is an antihistamine and analgesic combination. Chlorpheniramine works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing. Acetaminophen works in certain areas of the brain and nervous system to decrease pain.

Do NOT use Congestant if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Congestant
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB) or if you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Congestant :

Some medical conditions may interact with Congestant . 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 alcoholism or if you consume 3 or more alcohol-containing drinks every day
  • if you have a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; or liver problems (eg, hepatitis) or kidney problems
  • if you have a history of asthma; lung problems (eg, emphysema); heart problems; high blood pressure; diabetes; heart blood vessel problems; stroke; glaucoma; a blockage of your stomach, bladder, or intestines; ulcers; trouble urinating; an enlarged prostate; seizures; or an overactive thyroid

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Congestant . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), sodium oxybate (GHB), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because side effects of Congestant may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of side effects, such as bleeding, may be increased by Congestant
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because side effects may be increased by Congestant
  • Isoniazid because side effects of Congestant may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Congestant 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 Congestant :

Use Congestant as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Congestant may be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Congestant , 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 Congestant .

Important safety information:

  • Congestant may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Congestant . Using Congestant alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Do NOT exceed the recommended dose or take Congestant for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within 5 to 7 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Congestant may cause liver damage. If you consume 3 or more alcohol-containing drinks every day, ask your doctor if you should take Congestant or other pain relievers/fever reducers. Alcohol use combined with Congestant may increase your risk for liver damage.
  • Congestant contains acetaminophen. Before you begin taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains acetaminophen. If it does or if you are uncertain, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Congestant may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Congestant . Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • If you are scheduled for allergy skin testing, do not take Congestant for several days before the test because it may decrease your response to the skin tests.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Congestant .
  • Use Congestant with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using Congestant in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking Congestant , discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Congestant during pregnancy. It is unknown if Congestant is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Congestant .

Possible side effects of Congestant :

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:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or throat; excitability; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine or pale stools; difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; stomach pain; tremor; trouble sleeping; unusual fatigue; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of Congestant :

Store Congestant 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 Congestant out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Congestant , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Congestant 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Congestant . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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