Compare Phenylephrine vs. Advil Congestion Relief

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

phenylephrine

Advil Congestion Relief
(Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)

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 pain and congestion. Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) is a good combination medicine to relieve pain and congestion, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.18Phenylephrine
Reviews for Phenylephrine
44%
of people (All ages) say Phenylephrine is worth it
24%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
164 reviews
Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Advil Congestion Relief
73%
-29% worse vs. Phenylephrine
32%
-8% worse vs. Phenylephrine
7%
-3% worse vs. Phenylephrine
1125 reviews
Have you used Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief

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

FDA side effect reports for Phenylephrine »

We haven’t found good data for Advil Congestion Relief side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Advil Congestion Relief »
How it works
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and allergy symptoms. Ibuprofen is an NSAID that relieves swelling, pain, and fever. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic availableOver-the-counterNo lower cost generic available
Available as
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Used for
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
Risk factors for serious side effects
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
  • 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
Detailed Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Interactions
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
No interactions related info.
  • The pain reliever (ibuprofen) can interact with other medications and make health problems like stomach bleeding and ulcers worse.
Kidneys and liver
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) 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 Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) for any amount of time.
Upsides and benefits
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
  • 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 Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold and allergy symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, sinus pressure, 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.
Downsides and risks
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
  • 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 really need both 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PhenylephrineAdvil Congestion Relief
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Don't take it if you have an allergy to aspirin since ibuprofen can cause a similar reaction.
  • Phenylephrine (the decongestant ingredient) can make you restless, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
Learn more
More about PhenylephrineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Advil Congestion ReliefSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it