Compare Phenylephrine vs. Advil Cold and Sinus

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

Sudafed Pe
(Phenylephrine)

Advil Cold And Sinus
(Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine)

Clears your sinuses. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a good medication for relieving stuffy nose. It doesn't work as well as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), but it has fewer side effects.Relieves sinus pain and congestion. Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a good combination medicine to relieve pain and congestion, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.171779141104294Phenylephrine
Reviews for Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
44%
of people say Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is worth it
23%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine)
75%
+31% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
34%
+11% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
6%
+4% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
Side effects
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus

We haven’t found good data for Phenylephrine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Phenylephrine »

We haven’t found good data for Advil Cold and Sinus side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Advil Cold and Sinus »
How it works
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine that relieves cold symptoms and sinus pressure. Ibuprofen (an NSAID) relieves pain and reduces fever. Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Pain reliever
NSAID
DecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
Risk factors for serious side effects
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
  • 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
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking high blood pressure medications
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with aspirin
Detailed Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) contains ibuprofen, an NSAID that can lower kidney function or cause damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Your doctor should check your kidney function if you take Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) for any amount of time.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Works to clear nasal congestion and helps you breathe better.
  • Helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches.
  • 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.
  • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse symptoms when you stop taking it) like nasal spray decongestants do.
  • Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine that relieves cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have congestion, sore throat, headache, or fever.
  • Ibuprofen (a pain reliever) is more effective than acetaminophen at lowering fever and relieving sinus pain.
  • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears nose congestion to help you breathe better.
Downsides and risks
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • Can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
  • Not as effective after using it for 4 days in a row.
  • If you don't need both of the medications in this combination, you'd be taking extra medicine and can have extra side effects for no reason.
  • The pain reliever (ibuprofen) can interact with other medications and make health problems like stomach bleeding and ulcers worse.
  • It's not safe to take ibuprofen if you're pregnant since it increases the risk of heart defects in babies.
  • Pseudoephedrine, the decongestant in Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine), can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PhenylephrineAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Phenylephrine can make you restless, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • It's in other cold and flu combination medicines. Read labels closely so you don't accidentally double up and take too much of it in a day.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • You need to show an ID to buy Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains pseudoephedrine.
  • Don't take it if you have an allergy to aspirin since ibuprofen can cause a similar reaction.
  • Take it after eating to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
  • Be careful taking Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) if you have a history of bleeding problems or ulcers since it can make them worse.
  • Talk to your doctor if symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
Learn more
More about PhenylephrineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Advil Cold and SinusSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert