Compare Phenylephrine vs. Tylenol Sinus

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

Sudafed Pe
(Phenylephrine)

Tylenol Sinus
(Acetaminophen / 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. Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine) is a good combination medicine to relieve pain and congestion. Be careful to not take too much acetaminophen (APAP) each day.
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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 Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine)
74%
+30% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
31%
+8% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
5%
+5% vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
Side effects
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus

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

FDA side effect reports for Phenylephrine »

We haven’t found good data for Tylenol Sinus side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tylenol Sinus »
How it works
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and allergy symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Pain reliever
APAP
DecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
Risk factors for serious side effects
PhenylephrineTylenol 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 »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
PhenylephrineTylenol 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.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
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
PhenylephrineTylenol 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.
  • Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, a headache, 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 pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than to other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
Downsides and risks
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
  • 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.
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • 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.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you need to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you are taking since it is a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PhenylephrineTylenol 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
  • Phenylephrine (the decongestant ingredient) can make you restless, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
Learn more
More about PhenylephrineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Tylenol SinusSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert