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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Decongestants and Analgesics

Decongestants and Analgesics (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Decongestant-analgesic

Decongestant and analgesic combinations are taken by mouth to relieve sinus and nasal congestion (stuffy nose) and headache of colds, allergy, and hay fever.

Decongestants, such as phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine produce a narrowing of blood vessels. This leads to clearing of nasal congestion, but it may also cause an increase in blood pressure in patients who have high blood pressure.

Analgesics, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and salicylates (e.g., aspirin, salicylamide), are used in these combination medicines to help relieve headache and sinus pain.

Acetaminophen and salicylates may cause kidney damage or cancer of the kidney or urinary bladder if large amounts of both medicines are taken together for a long time. However, taking the recommended amounts of combination medicines that contain both acetaminophen and a salicylate for short periods of time has not been shown to cause these unwanted effects.

These medicines are available without a prescription. However, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper dose of these medicines for your medical condition. They are available in the following dosage forms:

  • Phenylephrine and Acetaminophen
    • For oral solution (Canada)
  • Pseudoephedrine and Acetaminophen
    • Capsules (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Pseudoephedrine and Ibuprofen
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Actifed Sinus Daytime 2
  • Actifed Sinus Daytime Caplets 2
  • Advil Cold and Sinus 3
  • Advil Cold and Sinus Caplets 3
  • Allerest No-Drowsiness Caplets 2
  • Coldrine 2
  • Contac Allergy/Sinus Day Caplets 2
  • Dristan Cold Caplets 2
  • Dristan Sinus Caplets 2
  • Motrin IB Sinus 3
  • Motrin IB Sinus Caplets 3
  • Ornex Maximum Strength Caplets 2
  • PhenAPAP Without Drowsiness 2
  • Sinarest No-Drowsiness Caplets 2
  • Sine-Aid Maximum Strength 2
  • Sine-Aid Maximum Strength Caplets 2
  • Sine-Off Maximum Strength No Drowsiness Formula Caplets 2
  • Sinus-Relief 2
  • Sinutab Sinus Maximum Strength Without Drowsiness 2
  • Sudafed Sinus Maximum Strength Without Drowsiness 2
  • Sudafed Sinus Maximum Strength Without Drowsiness Caplets 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Maximum Strength 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Maximum Strength Caplets 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Maximum Strength Gelcaps 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Maximum Strength Geltabs 2

In Canada -

  • Dristan N.D. Caplets 2
  • Dristan N.D. Extra Strength Caplets 2
  • Neo Citran Extra Strength Sinus 1
  • Sinutab No Drowsiness Caplets 2
  • Sinutab No Drowsiness Extra Strength Caplets 2
  • Sudafed Head Cold and Sinus Extra Strength Caplets 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Medication Regular Strength Caplets 2
  • Tylenol Sinus Medication Extra Strength Caplets 2


In November 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health warning regarding phenylpropanolamine (PPA) due to the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. The FDA, supported by results of a research program, requested that manufacturers voluntarily discontinue marketing products that contain PPA and that consumers work with their healthcare providers to select alternative products.


For quick reference, the following decongestants and analogs are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Phenylephrine and Acetaminophen (fen-ill-EF-rin and a-seat-a-MIN-oh-fen)*
2. Pseudoephedrine and Acetaminophen (soo-doe-e-FED-rin and a-seat-a-MIN-oh-fen)
3. Pseudoephedrine and Ibuprofen (soo-doe-e-FED-rin and eye-byoo-PRO-fen)
* Not commercially available in the U.S.


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Decongestants and Analgesics: Before Using

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