Compare Phenylephrine vs. Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu

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

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.

4.2/ 7 average rating with 164 reviewsforPhenylephrine
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.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Price
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$17.3
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Reviews
164 
44%
think this treatment is worth it
24%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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.
Risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver damage

    Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Chronic cough from an infection

    History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Antihistamine side effects

    Age 65 years or older

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

See more detailed risks and warnings