Compare Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu vs. Advil PM

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Relieves cold and flu symptoms, and helps you sleep.

Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is good for multiple cold symptoms at night, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.

Relieves pain and helps you sleep.

Advil Pm (Diphenhydramine / Ibuprofen) works well at relieving pain and also helps you sleep.

Upsides
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, a cough, fever, and pain.
  • The decongestant (phenylephrine) has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine. It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
  • The cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) works well and has very few side effects.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • The antihistamine (doxylamine) can help you sleep.
  • Advil Pm (Diphenhydramine / Ibuprofen) works well when you have a cold or the flu, but can also be used for backaches, minor arthritis, and joint pain.
  • Can be used for anyone 12 years or older.
  • Isn't habit-forming like some other pain medicines and sleep aids.
Downsides
  • If you don't really need all of the medications in this combination, you're taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
  • The pain reliever (ibuprofen) can interact with other medications and make health problems like stomach bleeding and ulcers worse.
  • The antihistamine (diphenhydramine) can make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Can only take one dose in 24 hours.
  • Can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use it.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Advil Pm (Diphenhydramine / Ibuprofen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver damage
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Chronic cough from an infection
    • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • History of smoking
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
  • Antihistamine side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Glaucoma
    • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Stomach bleeding
    • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
    • Age 60 years or older
    • Taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
    • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Heart attack or stroke
    • Taking with aspirin
  • Heart failure
    • Age 65 years or older
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disease
  • Increased falls
    • History of falls
    • Age 65 or older
    • Taking other drugs that make you drowsy or dizzy
See more detailed risks and warnings

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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.