- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: phenylephrine nasal
Drug Class: Decongestants, Intranasal
What is phenylephrine nasal, and what is it used for?
Phenylephrine nasal is available over the counter (OTC) for use as a nasal spray. Phenylephrine relieves nasal congestion by constricting and reducing the blood flow in small blood vessels in the nasal mucous lining.
Phenylephrine belongs to a class of medications known as alpha1 agonists that work by stimulating alpha1 adrenergic receptors. Alpha1 receptors are protein molecules located on smooth muscle tissues around blood vessels, and stimulating them makes these muscles contract. When sprayed in the nostrils, phenylephrine locally constricts the blood vessels in the nasal and sinus passages, reducing congestion.
- Do not use if you are hypersensitive to phenylephrine nasal or any of its components.
- Check with your healthcare provider before using phenylephrine nasal if you have any of the following conditions:
- Phenylephrine nasal can cause temporary nasal discomfort such as burning and stinging or sneezing.
- Prolonged or frequent use can cause nasal congestion to recur or become worse. Avoid using for longer than 3 days.
What are the side effects of phenylephrine nasal?
Common side effects of phenylephrine nasal include:
- Nasal discharge
- Rebound congestion
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 phenylephrine nasal?
- Instill 2-3 sprays or 2-3 drops every 4 hours of 0.25-0.1% solution as needed; not to exceed 3 days
Children below 2 years
- Consult a physician
Children 2-6 years
- 1-3 drops intranasally every 2-4 hours of 0.125% solution as needed; not to exceed 3 days
Children 6-12 years
- 2-3 drops intranasally every 4 hours of 0.25% solution as needed; not to exceed 3 days
Children 12 years old
- Instill 1-2 sprays or 1-2 drops intranasally every 4 hours of 0.25-0.1% solution as needed; not to exceed 3 days
What drugs interact with phenylephrine nasal?
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.
- Phenylephrine nasal has no listed severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate interactions of phenylephrine nasal include:
- nicotine intranasal
- Phenylephrine nasal has no listed serious interactions with other 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
- Use phenylephrine nasal during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed.
- It is not known if phenylephrine nasal is excreted in breast milk. Use with caution in nursing mothers.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use any OTC drug, including phenylephrine, without first checking with a physician.
What else should I know about phenylephrine nasal?
- Use phenylephrine nasal exactly as directed.
- Do not exceed recommended dosages or use concurrently with other decongestants.
- Do not use if solution is brown or contains precipitates.
- Do not share the container with others, it may spread the infection.
- Do not use for longer than 3 days. If symptoms persist after using for 3 days discontinue use and consult with your physician.
- Stop using phenylephrine nasal and inform your healthcare provider if you develop nervousness, dizziness or insomnia.
- Store safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.
Phenylephrine nasal is a nasal decongesting agent used to temporarily relieve nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies and hay fever, and sinus congestion and pressure. Common side effects of phenylephrine nasal include dryness, stinging, burning, sneezing, nasal discharge, and rebound congestion. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding. Prolonged or frequent use can cause nasal congestion to recur or become worse. Avoid using for longer than 3 days.
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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.