- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
What is brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine, and what is it used for?
Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine is a combination drug used to relieve symptoms of the common cold, flu, hay fever, allergies, and respiratory conditions such as sinusitis and bronchitis. The combo medication temporarily relieves symptoms such as cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy nose or throat, and itchy/watery eyes due to minor throat and bronchial irritation, and makes breathing easier. The drug is available over the counter (OTC) in the U.S.
Each medication in the combination works in a different way, and when combined they are more effective in relieving symptoms than with monotherapy of just one of the drugs.
- Brompheniramine works by blocking the activity of histamine, a natural compound in the body that causes allergy symptoms. Histamine is released by mast cells and basophils, types of immune cells, in response to allergen exposure. Brompheniramine binds to histamine H1 receptors in blood vessels, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract, preventing their activation by histamine and the resultant allergic reaction.
- Dextromethorphan suppresses cough by reducing the sensitivity of cough receptors in the brain region that stimulate the cough reflex and prevent the transmission of cough impulses. Dextromethorphan is a non-opioid drug derived from levorphanol, an opioid painkiller (analgesic), and is structurally similar to opioid drugs such as codeine, however, it does not have analgesic or addictive properties.
- Phenylephrine is an alpha1 agonist that works by stimulating the activity of alpha1 adrenergic receptors, protein molecules that signal to the smooth muscles around blood vessels to contract. The smooth muscle contraction narrows the blood vessels, limiting blood flow to the swollen respiratory mucous tissue, reducing nasal and bronchial congestion, and making breathing easier.
- Do not use brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine in patients with hypersensitivity to brompheniramine, dextromethorphan, phenylephrine or any of the components in the formulation.
- Do not use brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine in patients with any of the following conditions:
- Severe hypertension, coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease
- During an acute asthma attack
- Treatment of asthma or other lower respiratory tract conditions
- Narrow-angle glaucoma, an eye condition with high intraocular pressure that progressively damages the optic nerve
- Urinary retention
- Peptic ulcer
- Do not use brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine to treat nursing mothers.
- Do not use to treat full term or premature newborn infants.
- Use with caution in children and do not use the drug to make children sleepy, misuse can result in death in young children.
- Use with caution in children who are prone to allergic reactions (atopic).
- At doses higher than the recommended dose, nervousness, dizziness, or sleeplessness may occur, especially in infants and small children. Antihistamine overdose may cause hallucinations, convulsions, and death.
- Do not use concurrently or within 14 days of treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of antidepressants.
- Use with caution in patients with:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Thyroid disease
- Difficulty in urination due to prostate enlargement
- History of bronchial asthma, narrow-angle glaucoma, gastrointestinal obstruction, or urinary bladder-neck obstruction
- Use with caution in patients with persistent cough related to smoking, asthma or emphysema, or cough with excessive phlegm. A persistent cough may indicate a serious condition that should be appropriately diagnosed and treated.
- In case a hypertensive crisis occurs, discontinue the drug immediately and institute therapy to lower blood pressure.
- Do not use concurrently with other sedative drugs or alcohol.
What are the side effects of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine?
Common side effects of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine include:
- Dry mouth, nose and throat
- Thickening of mucus in nose and throat
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Reflex increase in heart rate (tachycardia)
- Constriction of peripheral and abdominal (visceral) blood vessels
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine?
- 1 mg/5 mg/2.5 mg/5 mL
Relief of Cold Symptoms
4 teaspoons (20 mL) orally every 4 hours; not to exceed 120 mL/24 hours
Children below 6 years
- Not recommended
Children 6-12 years
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) orally every 4 hours
Children above 12 years
- 4 teaspoons (20 mL) orally every 4 hours
- Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine overdose can cause severe adverse reactions with symptoms that include agitation, confusion, flushing, hallucinations, large pupils, muscle twitching, and seizures.
- In children, the drug may initially have an excitatory effect, which may be followed by loss of coordination, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and seizures.
- Overdose treatment may be supportive and symptomatic care.
What drugs interact with brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Severe interactions of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine include:
- Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine has serious interactions with at least 58 different drugs.
- Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine has moderate interactions with at least 303 different drugs.
- Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine has mild interactions with at least 36 different drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Neither animal reproductive studies nor controlled studies in pregnant women have been conducted on the safety of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine use during pregnancy. It is not known if the combination drug can cause fetal harm or affect reproductive capacity. Use with caution in pregnant women only if maternal benefits clearly outweigh possible risk to the fetus.
- The combination drug contains brompheniramine, an antihistamine. There is a higher risk of antihistamine intolerance in small infants, avoid use in nursing mothers.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before taking any OTC drug.
What else should I know about brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine?
- Take brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine exactly as prescribed, or as per label instructions if taking OTC drug. Do not take higher or more frequent doses than recommended.
- Stop taking the medication and see your physician if:
- The antihistamine component in the drug may impair physical and mental abilities; avoid activities such as driving and operating heavy machinery.
- Tell your doctor ahead of time if you have taken this drug within the previous a few days, if surgery or medical tests need to be performed.
- This combo medication can reduce sweating. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and hot weather, it may increase the risk of heat stroke.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine.
- Do not administer OTC brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine to children younger than 2 years.
- Store safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help or call Poison Control.
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Brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine is an over-the-counter (OTC) cold medication used to relieve symptoms of the common cold, flu, hay fever, allergies, and respiratory conditions such as sinusitis and bronchitis. The combo medication temporarily relieves symptoms such as cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy nose or throat, and itchy/watery eyes due to minor throat and bronchial irritation, and makes breathing easier. Do not use concurrently with other sedative drugs or alcohol. Common side effects of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine include dry mouth, nose, and throat; thickening of mucus in nose and throat, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, excitability, restlessness, high blood pressure (hypertension), reflex increase in heart rate (tachycardia), and constriction of peripheral and abdominal (visceral) blood vessels.
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A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, is a condition where the nasal passages become swollen and infected. The sinuses are hollow air spaces in the facial bones, near the nose. They produce mucus, which helps line the nose and prevent dust and other particles from entering the lungs.
What Is Allergic Cascade?
The allergic cascade refers to allergic reactions that happen in the body in response to allergens. A variety of immune cells and chemical messengers participate in the allergic cascade. Symptoms of the allergic cascade range from mild swelling and itching to full-blown anaphylactic shock. Allergen avoidance and medications are used to prevent or treat allergies.
How Can You Tell if You Have a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infection is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of sinus infection, what causes sinus infection, how doctors diagnose sinus infection, and what you can do to treat sinus infection.
What Is the Fastest Way To Cure a Cough?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your cough symptoms and speed up your recovery.
How Long Does It Take for Allergic Conjunctivitis to Go Away?
Without treatment, allergic conjunctivitis symptoms could last the entire time that your critical allergen is present — which can vary greatly.
Sinus Infection vs. Cold
Viruses cause the common cold and most sinus infections. Bacterial and fungal infections may also cause a sinus infection. Signs and symptoms of colds and sinus infections include nasal irritation or dryness, sore throat, stuffy nose, nasal discharge/congestion, sneezing, and cough. Additional symptoms of sinus infections include sinus pressure behind the cheeks or eyes, facial pain when pressure is applied, bad breath, and thick yellow or green mucus. Treatment focuses on symptom relief.
What Are the Best Treatments for Allergic Conjunctivitis?
Learn what medical treatments can ease allergic conjunctivitis symptoms and help speed up your eye allergy recovery.
What Are the 3 Stages of Whooping Cough?
The three stages of whooping cough include stage I (catarrhal), stage II (paroxysmal), and stage III (convalescent). Check out the center below for more medical references on whooping cough, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Do Allergy Desensitization Shots Work?
Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to harmless substances called allergens. Allergy desensitization shots make your body less likely to react to allergen.
Sinus Infection vs. Allergies
Both sinus infections and allergies (allergic rhinitis) cause symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose and fatigue. Sinus infection (known as sinusitis) is inflammation of the sinuses, caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi (molds). Allergic rhinitis occurs when certain allergies cause nasal symptoms. When a person with allergies breathes in an allergen, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander, symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, itching, sneezing, and fatigue occur.
How Do You Know if You Have a Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) or COVID-19 Coronavirus?
Learn how the signs and symptoms of a sinus infection are different from those caused by COVID-19.
How Long Does Whooping Cough Last?
What is whooping cough and how long does whooping cough last? Learn more about whooping cough and how to recover from whooping cough.
Do Expectorants Make You Cough More?
Expectorants help inhibit the accumulation of mucus and clear the airways during a respiratory tract infection. Check out the center below for more medical references on expectorants, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, is a condition in which the delicate membranes that line the sinuses may get swollen and become red. A cold or common cold is a viral infection. It affects the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs.
How Do You Calm Down an Allergy Attack?
Here are thirteen tips to calm an allergy attack and put an end to constant sneezing, itching, and congestion.
How to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection Fast
The sinuses are air-filled cavities that surround the nose and drain into the nose. They are present in the forehead, the cheeks and near the eyes. Treatment for sinus infections includes over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, antibiotics, humidifiers, nasal irrigation, steam inhalation, rest, hydration and warm compresses.
What Is the Difference Between Allergy and Hay Fever?
Hay fever is a type of allergy that occurs in response to specific allergens and typically lasts for months. Learn more about allergies vs. hay fever.
COVID-19 vs. Allergies
Though there is some overlap in allergy and COVID-19 signs and symptoms there are also significant differences. Symptoms that they have in common include headache, fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sore throat. Fever does not occur with allergies but is one of the defining symptoms of COVID-19 infections.
How Long Does Sinusitis Last?
Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull that surround the nose. They are present in the forehead, cheeks, and near the eyes. These are closed spaces in the skull with a small opening.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your sinus infection symptoms and speed up your recovery.
What Is the Best Treatment for Whooping Cough?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your whooping cough symptoms and speed up your recovery.
What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include acetaminophen, guaifenesin syrup and saline nasal drops or spray. You can also use natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy.
How Serious Is Whooping Cough in Adults?
What is whooping cough (pertussis) and how serious is it for adults? Learn causes, symptoms and treatments.
How Long Is a Cold Sore Contagious?
Cold sores are blisters around your mouth and lips. Cold sores are contagious until they are completely healed.
Why Won’t My Allergy Symptoms Go Away?
Allergies happen when your body's immune system reacts to certain substances as though they are harmful. Allergy symptoms may not go away unless you avoid your triggers, stick to your medications, find the right combination of medications, and consider surgery.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
What is allergic conjunctivitis, and how do you recognize it? Learn the signs of allergic conjunctivitis and how to treat it.
Is Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Contagious?
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough symptoms include severe coughing fits and whooping sound produced during inhalation. The bacteria spreads via airborne droplets produced during sneezing or coughing. There is a whooping cough vaccine that is typically administered during childhood vaccinations.
What Are the 5 Main Symptoms of Sinusitis?
Common symptoms of sinusitis include runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, headache, facial pain and swelling, and reduced sense of smell or taste.
What Is the Fastest Way to Fix Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies are common and tend to ramp up during the spring and summer. Learn about how to get rid of seasonal allergies fast with these 13 home remedies.
What Are the 4 Most Common Allergens?
The four most common types of allergens include food and medications, pollen, pet dander, and latex.
What Can Trigger a Cold Sore?
After you get infected with HSV, it lies inactively in the nerve cells inside your skin and may appear as another cold sore at the same place as before.
What Causes Nose Allergies?
Nose allergies can be caused by irritants such as pollen, animal dander, and household dust. Learn about symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
How Long Does a Cold Last?
Most often, a common cold lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 days in length.
How Do You Know If Your Child Has Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough is a common issue that affects many children. Learn the signs of whooping cough, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
What Medication Is Best for Sinusitis?
Sinusitis occurs when the tissues lining the sinus cavities become swollen as a result of an infection or irritation. Medications for sinusitis vary depending on the severity of the condition.
What Can I Do for My Baby’s Cough?
Cough can cause significant discomfort to a baby. The baby may also have difficulty relaxing and sleeping. Numerous illnesses can cause cough as a primary symptom. Coughing is the result of the baby’s airway being affected or irritated.
How Do I Get Rid of My Toddler's Cough?
Cough is one of the common complaints in toddlers. Get rid of your toddler's cough by making sure your child rests, stays hydrated, takes over-the-counter pain medication, uses nasal spray and uses a humidifier or steam to provide relief.
What Do You Give a Child With a Cold?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics may be used to fight bacterial infections, but they have no effect on viruses.
When to See a Doctor When Your Baby Has a Cold
If your baby has a cold, signs that it may be time to see a doctor include poor feeding, dehydration, breathing difficulties, ear pain, and more.
What Are Typical Allergy Symptoms?
Allergy symptoms differ depending on the type of allergy and body part involved. For example, food allergies may cause different symptoms than nasal allergies or eye allergies. The severity of symptoms may also vary, ranging from mild irritation to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
What Is Good for a Child's Cold?
The common cold is one of the main reasons for missing schools in children and missing work in adults. Children are affected more commonly with cold than adults, who may have an average of two to three colds each year.
Should I Exercise Outside if I Have Allergies?
An allergy is a condition in which the immune system overresponds to a foreign substance. With the right treatment and precautions, you can completely eliminate allergy flare-ups during your outdoor workout.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
Why Are Allergies So Bad Right Now 2021?
Scientists believe that allergies are getting worse because of climate change.
Is Allergic Conjunctivitis the Same as Conjunctivitis?
Allergic conjunctivitis may occur along with sneezing, runny nose, or sinus headache. Many people also find that they are tired and feel agitated.
What Are Typical Seasonal Allergy Symptoms?
Typical seasonal allergy symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, congestion, and a sore throat.
Is My Sore Throat Allergies or COVID-19?
Sore throat can be a symptom of allergies or COVID-19, and it can be difficult to tell which one you have. Understanding the difference between these two illnesses can help.
How Do You Get a Cold Sore on Your Lip?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or oral herpes, are a viral infection that leaves small blisters around your mouth. You get a cold sore on your lip due to viral infection from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
How to Identify Cold Symptoms in Children
When a child is sick, their way of showing it may not always be clear. Here’s what to look for to determine whether your child is sick with a cold.
How Is COVID-19 Different From Allergies?
COVID-19 symptoms are often similar to symptoms of seasonal allergies, so it is important to know how to tell the difference. Learn how to distinguish between the two.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Allergies FAQs
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Common Cold . . . Social Ties Decrease Risk
- Colds: Zinc For Colds...Jury Still Out!
- Air Pollution and Allergies: A Connection?
- Cough, Cold, Weight Loss Drug Dangerous - Warning
- Allergies: Don't Sneeze at Allergy Relief
- Colds: 10 Tips to Prevent The Common Cold
- Are Hives Always Caused by an Allergy?
- Killer Cold Virus (Adenovirus Strains)
- What Does It Mean When Children Cough up Sulfur Granules?
- What Can You Give a Toddler for Severe Cough?
- Is There a Direct Relationship Between Sinusitis and Muscle Pain?
- How Long Does Bronchitis Cough Last?
- What Causes a Chronic Cough in Winter?
- How Long Does It Take Strep to Go Away?
- How Do You Treat Whooping Cough in Adults?
- What Are Strategies to Deal With Mite Allergies ?
- Can You Cough to Give Yourself CPR?
- Do Allergy Drugs Interact with Synthroid?
- What Kind of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take?
- Whooping Cough Symptoms
- Cold Sore Treatment
- OTC Cold and Cough Medications
- When to Call the Doctor for Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs
- Air Travel, Colds, and Sinus Infections
Medications & Supplements
- fluticasone (Flonase, Flonase Allergy Relief)
- cetirizine (Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Zyrtec Hives)
- fexofenadine (Allegra, Mucinex Allergy)
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- budesonide nasal inhaler (Rhinocort Allergy, Rhinocort Aqua)
- Does Immunotherapy Work for Allergies?
- Nasal Allergy Medications
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.