PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!

Children’s Sudafed PE Cold and Cough (Generic Phenylephrine)

Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Phenylephrine is commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with nasal congestion due to conditions like the common cold, allergies, or sinusitis. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages, which reduces swelling and congestion, making it easier to breathe.

How should this medicine be used?

Phenylephrine is available in various forms, including oral tablets, nasal sprays, and eye drops. The dosage and method of administration depend on the specific product and the patient’s age and condition. It’s essential to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the medication label carefully.

Typically, for oral tablets, the usual dosage for adults is 10 to 20 milligrams every 4 hours, not exceeding 60 milligrams in 24 hours. For nasal sprays, the recommended dose is usually 2 to 3 sprays in each nostril every 4 hours, not exceeding 3 doses in 24 hours. It’s essential not to exceed the recommended dosage or frequency, as misuse can lead to adverse effects.

It’s also important to avoid using phenylephrine for longer than directed, as prolonged use can lead to rebound congestion or other complications. If symptoms persist or worsen despite treatment, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and management.

Other uses for this medicine

Phenylephrine is primarily used for relieving nasal congestion, but it may also have other off-label uses, including:

  • Treatment of low blood pressure (hypotension): Phenylephrine’s ability to constrict blood vessels can be utilized to raise blood pressure in certain medical situations, such as during anesthesia or in cases of hypotension.
  • Mydriasis (pupil dilation): Phenylephrine is sometimes used by ophthalmologists to dilate the pupil during eye examinations or surgeries.
  • Vasopressor support: In critical care settings, phenylephrine may be used to support blood pressure in patients with septic shock or other conditions causing hypotension.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions, here are some important points to consider when using phenylephrine:

  • Medical history: Inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions, especially high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, glaucoma, or urinary retention, as these conditions may affect the safety or effectiveness of phenylephrine.
  • Drug interactions: Phenylephrine may interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and blood pressure medications. It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It’s important to consult a healthcare professional before using phenylephrine if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. While phenylephrine is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy when used as directed, caution is advised, especially during the first trimester.
  • Driving and operating machinery: Phenylephrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals. If you experience these effects, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Overuse: Avoid prolonged or excessive use of phenylephrine, as it may lead to rebound congestion or other adverse effects. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency of use provided by your healthcare provider or the medication label.

Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of phenylephrine, especially if you have any concerns or questions about its safety or appropriateness for your specific situation.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with phenylephrine. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated while using this medication, especially if you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of phenylephrine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. If you are unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Phenylephrine, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of phenylephrine may include:

  • Increased blood pressure: Phenylephrine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it can raise blood pressure. This effect may be more significant in individuals with hypertension or cardiovascular conditions.
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations): Phenylephrine can stimulate the heart, leading to palpitations or a rapid heartbeat, particularly at higher doses.
  • Nervousness or restlessness: Some individuals may experience feelings of nervousness, jitteriness, or restlessness after taking phenylephrine.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: Phenylephrine may cause dizziness or a sensation of lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of phenylephrine use, especially in susceptible individuals.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea or vomiting, while taking phenylephrine.
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia): Phenylephrine can cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep in some individuals, especially if taken close to bedtime.
  • Tremors: Tremors or shaking of the hands or other parts of the body may occur as a side effect of phenylephrine.
  • Increased urination: Phenylephrine can stimulate the release of urine, leading to increased frequency of urination.
  • Dry mouth or throat: Some individuals may experience dryness of the mouth or throat while taking phenylephrine.

These are not all the possible side effects of phenylephrine. If you experience any other unusual symptoms or side effects while taking this medication, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for further evaluation and advice. Additionally, seek medical attention immediately if you experience severe or concerning side effects, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or a severe allergic reaction.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to storing and disposing of phenylephrine, here’s what you should know:


  • Store phenylephrine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not freeze phenylephrine nasal spray.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided by the manufacturer or pharmacist for the particular form of phenylephrine you are using.


  • Dispose of unused or expired phenylephrine properly to prevent accidental ingestion by children, pets, or others.
  • Do not flush phenylephrine down the toilet unless instructed to do so by the medication label or healthcare provider.
  • Check with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for guidance on how to dispose of phenylephrine safely. Some pharmacies and community organizations may have drug take-back programs or disposal bins for unused medications.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If you or someone else has taken too much phenylephrine or is experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizures, or loss of consciousness, seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services or visiting the nearest emergency room.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the amount of phenylephrine taken, the time of ingestion, and any other relevant details to healthcare professionals.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by medical personnel.

What other information should I know?

  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking phenylephrine, as it may increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Phenylephrine may interact with certain medical conditions and medications, so it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all your medical history and current medications before starting phenylephrine.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and the medication label carefully when using phenylephrine to ensure safe and effective use.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about phenylephrine or its use, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.
Copyright © 2023