What You Need to Know About Actifed

How Does It Work?

Phenylephrine is part of a class of drugs called decongestants. Specifically, it works by stimulating certain receptors known as alpha-adrenergic receptors. In the lining of the nose and sinuses, this action causes the blood vessels to constrict, allowing less fluid to leave the blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. This helps to relieve nasal and sinus congestion.
Chlorpheniramine belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines. Specifically, it is an H1 receptor antagonist. This means that it blocks a specific type of histamine receptor in the body (known as H1 receptors). Because allergic reactions are partly caused by the release of histamine from certain cells in the body, Actifed can help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.

When and How to Take This Drug

Some general considerations for those taking Actifed include the following:
  • This medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually every four hours.
  • You can take Actifed with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with a little food.
  • This medication could make you either drowsy or more awake. If you find that it makes you drowsy, it may be best to take it at night. If you find that it keeps you awake, you may want to take it during the day.
  • For Actifed to work properly, it must be taken as directed.

Dosing Information

There is only one standard recommended dose for Actifed. As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Actifed Dosage for more information.)
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Actifed Medication Information

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