Phenylephrine (Systemic)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Little Colds Decongestant [OTC]; Medi-Phenyl [OTC]; Nasal Decongestant PE Max St [OTC]; Nasal Decongestant [OTC]; Neo-Synephrine [DSC]; Non-Pseudo Sinus Decongestant [OTC]; Sudafed PE Childrens [OTC]; Sudafed PE Maximum Strength [OTC]; Sudogest PE [OTC]; Vazculep

What is this drug used for?

All oral products:

  • It is used to treat nose stuffiness.


  • It is used to treat low blood pressure.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has high blood pressure.

All oral products:

  • If your child has taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for certain other health problems in the last 14 days. Taking this drug within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor. This drug can raise blood sugar.
  • Have your child’s blood pressure and heart rate checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Limit your child’s use of caffeine and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
  • Talk with the doctor before giving OTC products that may raise blood pressure. These include cough or cold drugs, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and some natural products or aids.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

All oral products:

  • Different brands of this drug may be for use in different ages of children. Talk with the doctor before giving this drug to a child.


  • If your child is allergic to sulfites, talk with your child’s doctor. Some products have sulfites in them.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very nervous and excitable.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Shakiness.


  • Blurred eyesight.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Slow heartbeat.
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
  • This drug may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your child’s nurse if your child has any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your child’s body.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

All products:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Restlessness.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.


  • Sweating a lot.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All oral products:

  • Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.


  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.


  • This drug is given as a shot into a vein or into a vein nonstop for a period of time.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

All oral products:

  • If your child takes this drug on a regular basis, give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis. Do not give to your child more often than told by the doctor.


  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All oral products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.


  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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