Phenylephrine is a medication that is used for a variety of different purposes. It is probably most commonly used as a nasal or sinus decongestant for relieving congestion and pressure due to allergies (such as hay fever) or the common cold.
This medication comes as phenylephrine hydrochloride, or phenylephrine HCl (in several forms); phenylephrine bitartrate (in effervescent tablet form); or phenylephrine tannate (in oral form).
This over-the-counter medication 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.
Although most people tolerate this medication well, it is not suitable for everyone. Before starting treatment, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you may have and any other medications you are taking. Some of the common side effects of this drug include insomnia, dizziness, and nervousness.
(Click Phenylephrine for more information on how phenylephrine can be beneficial in relieving nasal and sinus congestion. This article also discusses general dosing guidelines, safety precautions, and tips on effectively using this medication.)