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

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

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.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1740 reviewsforSudafed
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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
1740 
82%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
6%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) 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

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

  • 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