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Phenylephrine: Things you should know


Cold, oh no! No one like it,
During cold, you’re helpless, tired with the congested and itchy nose.
The common cold is a viral infection, and no one feels sorry for the person having a cold because it is a common problem, and will get better on its own. However, in some condition (such as sinusitis, ear infection and pneumonia) it needs proper medication.
“There’s no cure for cold.”
Phenylephrine is one of the widely preferred medication to get relief from the symptoms of the common cold.

So let us enlighten you,
Some important points regarding Phenylephrine,

What is Phenylephrine?
Phenylephrine is a selective alpha-1 adrenergic receptor agonist (activator). It is the most widely preferred over the counter (OTC) medication for the treatment of nasal decongestion.
It was patented in 1927 and got approval for medical use in 1938. Currently, it is available as generic medication worldwide.

How Does Phenylephrine work?
Phenylephrine is a direct acting sympathomimetic drug (mimics the action of adrenaline or epinephrine). Adrenaline is a hormone, neurotransmitter and medication that prepare the body for fight or flight.
It selectively binds to alpha-1 receptors and cause vasoconstriction (constriction or narrowing of the blood vessel) and increases systolic/diastolic pressure.
Along with a selective alpha-1 receptor agonist, it serves numerous role in the body as a,
Mydriatic agent (an agent that can cause dilation of the pupil)
Cardiotonic agent (an agent that have strengthening effect on the heart or can increase the cardiac output)
Vasoconstrictor agent (an agent that can cause narrowing or constriction of the blood vessel).
Nasal decongestant (an agent that is used to relieve nasal congestion in the upper respiratory tract)

Side effects related to Phenylephrine:
Like other medication, Phenylephrine also has some side effects, and these are dose-dependent:
Common side effects: Loss of appetite, sleeping problem (insomnia), skin rashes or itching, feeling restless or excited, headache and nausea.
Severe side effects: chest pain, slow heart rate, increase blood pressure, tissue death at the site of injection and kidney failure.

Medical use:
It is the most widely preferred medication in several conditions, such as:
1. Decongestant: Phenylephrine is used as a nasal decongestant for the temporary relief of symptoms of stuffy (closed) nose and other breathing illness such as bronchitis and sinusitis. It mainly works by decreasing the inflammation in the nose, and ear region thus facilitates easy breathing.
Available either in the form of oral chewable tablets, suspension or nasal spray.
2. Pupil Dilation: Phenylephrine is used as mydriatic (agents that dilate the pupil). It is available in the form of an eye drop.
3. Vasopressor: Phenylephrine is used as a vasopressor agent to increase the blood pressure in the patient having hypotension.

1. Phenylephrine is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding (it can pass into the breast milk and may harm the newborn).
2. Before using this medication tell your doctor if you have prior episodes of hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), heart disease (hypertension, angina), diabetes, glaucoma (loss of vision), mental/mood disorder (anxiety, bipolar disorder), seziure and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid glands).
3. As such Phenylephrine make you dizzy and lightheaded, avoid the use of alcoholic beverages along with Phenylephrine as it makes you more dizzy.
4. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs more alertness during the treatment with Phenylephrine.
5. Before having surgery, tell your doctor if you are taking Phenylephrine.
6. Do not use Phenylephrine for the treatment of cold symptoms in younger children (less than six years).
7. Older patients are more prone towards severe side effects due to irregular heartbeat, urination problem and dizziness.

Note: Phenylephrine do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold; it provides only relief to the symptoms of the common cold).

Interaction: Before taking Phenylephrine, it is vital to know the possible drug interaction of Phenylephrine.
1. Before using Phenylephrine, tell your doctor if you are using any prescription, nonprescription or herbal products, especially blood pressure lowering medications, other decongestant and antidepressants.
2. Phenylephrine, when given in combination with migraine medication, it worsens the side effects of migraine.
3. Do not take MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) with Phenylephrine as it causes fatal (dangerous) drug interaction.

Dr Best Pharmaceuticals are continuously working to provide premium quality generic healthcare products in various therapeutic segments such as Analgesics, Anti-Diabetic, Cardiovascular agents, Antibiotics, Lipid profile management, Gastrointestinal agents, OTC products and Vitamins.
The Anti-inflammatory drug phenylephrine in combination with paracetamol and cetirizine hydrochloride (EZINOZ) are widely available with their online pharmacy 24 hrs at an affordable price with up to 80% discount. Hence, everyone can easily get their medicine.

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