Actifed is primarily used for the treatment of allergies and symptoms of the common cold. Specifically, the drug can help treat runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat. There are also some off-label Actifed uses, such as relieving symptoms of a sinus infection and treating fluid build-up in the ear (such as with ear infections).
What Is Actifed Used For?Actifed® Cold & Allergy (chlorpheniramine maleate and phenylephrine hydrochloride) is an over-the counter medication used to treat allergy and common cold symptoms. Specifically, the drug is approved to treat the following cold symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion.
Actifed is used to treat the following allergy symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itching of the nose or throat.
How Does the Medication 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 of 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.