Phenylephrine (Nasal)

Phenylephrine (Into The Nose)

Phenylephrine (fen-il-EF-rin)

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

Brand Name(s):
Neo-Synephrine, Nostril, Rhinall, Vicks Sinex, Tur-Bi-Cal
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to phenylephrine or other nasal decongestants. Avoid using phenylephrine if you are taking MAO inhibitors such as Marplanreg;, Nardilreg;, or Parnatereg;, or if you take medicine for glaucoma or depression.

How to Use This Medicine:

Spray, Gel/Jelly, Drop

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often.  
  • You should not use more often or in larger amounts than your doctor has ordered.  
  • Blow your nose gently before using the drops. Tilt your head back while standing or sitting and squeeze drops into each nostril. Keep your head tilted back for a few minutes afterward. Rinse the dropper with hot water and dry with a clean tissue.  
  • Blow your nose gently before using the spray. With your head upright, spray the medicine once into each nostril, sniffing while squeezing the bottle quickly and firmly. Wait 3 to 5 minutes to allow the drug to work, then blow your nose gently again. Repeat until you have used the number of sprays your doctor ordered.  
  • Rinse the tip of the nasal spray with hot water and dry with a clean tissue. Keep the bottle clean and tightly closed when you are not using it.  
  • Blow your nose gently before using the jelly. Wash your hands with soap and water. Place jelly in each nostril with your finger. Sniff deeply.  
  • Wipe the tip of the tube with a clean tissue and put on the cap. Keep the tube clean and tightly closed when you are not using it.

If a dose is missed:

  • Use your medicine as soon as you remember that you have missed your dose.  
  • If it is nearly time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.  
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Keep your medicine at room temperature, away from direct heat and light. Do not freeze.  
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicines that you inhale through the nose or mouth.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.  
  • You should not use this medicine for more than 3 to 5 days unless your doctor tells you to.  
  • Use phenylephrine only on your doctor’s orders if you are over 60 years of age, or if you are being treated for high blood pressure, heart disease, blood vessel disease, asthma, diabetes, overactive thyroid, or trouble urinating.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • 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:

  • Headache  
  • Restlessness  
  • Sneezing, burning or stinging inside the nose

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.