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
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4.18Phenylephrine
Reviews for Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
44%
of people (All ages) say Sudafed Pe (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 Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine)
74%
+30% better vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
31%
+7% better vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
5%
+5% better vs. Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)
1176 reviews
Have you used Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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
Prescription or OTC
Over-the-counter
Available as
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Used for
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

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.

Kidneys and liver
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
Pain
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
No pain related info.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than to other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • 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.
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).
  • 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 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PhenylephrineTylenol Sinus
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Tylenol SinusSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tylenol Sinus (Acetaminophen / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it