Prescription onlyClass: Respiratory

Epipen Alternatives

(epinephrine)

Prescription onlyClass: Respiratory
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Compare Epipen (epinephrine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Epipen (epinephrine) or used for similar purposes.

Epipen
(epinephrine)

Sudafed Pe
(phenylephrine)

Emergency injection for severe allergic reactions. Epipen (Epinephrine) is a life-saving medication for severe allergic reactions. Just make sure you know how to give an injection before it's needed.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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Epipen (epinephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Phenylephrine
44%
+23% better vs. Epipen
24%
+9% better vs. Epipen
10%
-23% worse vs. Epipen
164 reviews
Have you used Sudafed Pe (phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EpipenPhenylephrine

The Epipen FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Epipen side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Phenylephrine »
How it works
EpipenPhenylephrine
Epipen (Epinephrine) is like adrenaline. It relaxes muscles in your lungs and relieves spasm, wheezing, and shortness of breath that happens during a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.
Type of medication
EpipenPhenylephrine
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
Used for
EpipenPhenylephrine
Risk factors for serious side effects
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • Heart condition
  • High blood pressure
Detailed Epipen (epinephrine) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
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.

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.

Weight
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • In overweight or obese people, including children, inject Epipen (Epinephrine) into the lower half of the thigh or calf.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • Epipen (Epinephrine) is an easy-to-use automatic injector. Just place the injector on the upper/outer part of your thigh and press a button.
  • Can be used immediately to stop a life-threatening allergic reaction.
  • The Jr. dose is for children 33lbs to 66 lbs. Adults should use the standard Epipen (Epinephrine).
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you may a greater risk of having side effects from Epipen (Epinephrine).
  • You can only use 2 Epipen (Epinephrine) injections to treat a severe allergic reaction. If you need a 3rd dose, it'll have to be given by a doctor in a hospital or healthcare setting.
  • Injecting Epipen (Epinephrine) into body parts other than the upper/outer thigh can cause serious damage and may not treat your allergic reaction. Never, ever accidentally inject it into your hand.
  • You should keep two Epipen (Epinephrine) injectors that haven't expired yet with you at all times if you know you have severe allergies to insects, foods, drugs, or other products.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EpipenPhenylephrine
  • Epipen (Epinephrine) comes in an adult dose and child dose autoinjector. Know how to use the injector before you need it by practicing with the sample injector in the Epipen (Epinephrine) kit.
  • When needed, inject the entire amount of medicine into the upper, outer part of the thigh, through clothing if necessary. If the severe allergic reaction doesn’t go away, the dose can be repeated with a second Epipen (Epinephrine) in 5 to 15 minutes.
  • It's best to get medical attention immediately, even though you gave the injection.
  • In overweight or obese people, including children, inject Epipen (Epinephrine) into the lower half of the thigh or calf.
  • Epipen (Epinephrine) is sensitive to light and air and will turn pink or brown if it goes bad. Don’t inject the solution if it’s discolored or contains solid particles.
  • Any additional doses will need to be given by a doctor in a healthcare setting.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about EpipenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Epipen (epinephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PhenylephrineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Sudafed Pe (phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it