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Phenylephrine (Into the nose)

Phenylephrine (fen-il-EF-rin)

Treats stuffy nose due to colds, hay fever, and allergies.

Brand Name(s):

4 Way Fast Acting, 4 Way Menthol, 4-Way No Drip, Good Sense Nasal Four, Leader Nose Drops, Little Noses Decongestant Nose Drops, Neo-Synephrine, Rhinall, TopCare Nasal Four, TopCare Nose Drops

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to phenylephrine or another nasal decongestant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Spray, Gel/Jelly, Drop

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • To prevent the spread of infection, each medicine container should be used by only 1 person.
  • Blow your nose before you use this medicine.
  • Spray: With your head upright, spray the medicine once into each nostril, sniffing while you squeeze the bottle quickly and firmly. Repeat for 2 or 3 sprays, or as directed by your doctor. Do not use the spray more often than every 4 hours.
  • Drops: Tilt your head back, and squeeze drops into each nostril. Keep your head tilted back for a few minutes.
  • Jelly: Wash your hands with soap and water. Place jelly in each nostril. Sniff deeply.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Keep the medicine container clean and tightly closed. Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use phenylephrine if you are taking an MAO inhibitor (MAOI).
  • Some medicines can affect how phenylephrine works. Tell your doctor if you are using an antidepressant, or any other medicine that you inhale through your nose or mouth.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, or trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate.
  • Stop using this medicine and call your doctor if your symptoms last longer than 3 days. This medicine may worsen your stuffy nose if you use it for a longer time.
  • Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Tingling in the hands or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Sneezing, burning, or stinging inside your nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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