Compare Sudafed vs. Advil Congestion Relief

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

Sudafed
(Pseudoephedrine)

Advil Congestion Relief
(Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)

Clears your sinuses. Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) relieves stuffy nose, but it could keep you up at night. Don't forget your photo ID or you won't be able to buy it in the drugstore.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.273672055427252Sudafed
Reviews for Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
82%
of people say Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) is worth it
45%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)
73%
9% vs. Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
32%
13% vs. Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
7%
1% vs. Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
Side effects
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief

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

FDA side effect reports for Sudafed »

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

FDA side effect reports for Advil Congestion Relief »
How it works
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) 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
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Pain reliever
NSAID
DecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
Risk factors for serious side effects
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of seizures
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) 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 Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
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
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 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.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
  • One of the best over-the-counter options to clear stuffy nose and help you breathe better.
  • Clears nasal congestion better than other decongestants like phenylephrine.
  • Can be helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches and pressure in your ears.
  • Available in regular and extended release forms.
  • 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
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
  • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
  • Can raise blood pressure so check with your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
  • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) isn't as effective after using it for more than 4 days straight.
  • Need to show a photo ID to buy it in the drugstore and there is a limit on how much you can buy each visit.
  • 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
SudafedAdvil Congestion Relief
  • You need to show an ID to buy Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains pseudoephedrine.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
  • Don't take Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) too close to bedtime since it can keep you awake.
  • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
  • Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
  • 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
Learn more
More about SudafedSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Advil Congestion ReliefSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert