Compare Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough vs. Tylenol PM

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

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Relieves coughing and cold symptoms.

Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough (Aspirin / Chlorpheniramine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is good for multiple cold symptoms, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.

Relieves pain and helps you sleep.

Tylenol Pm (Acetaminophen / Diphenhydramine) works well at relieving pain and also helps you sleep.

Upsides
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough (Aspirin / Chlorpheniramine / 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.
  • Phenylephrine (the decongestant ingredient) 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.
  • Dextromethorphan (the cough suppressant ingredient) works well and has very few side effects.
  • Tylenol Pm (Acetaminophen / Diphenhydramine) works well when you have a cold or the flu, but can also be used for backaches, minor arthritis, and joint pain.
  • Can be used for anyone 12 years or older.
  • Isn't habit-forming like some other pain medicines and sleep aids.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • The aspirin in Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough (Aspirin / Chlorpheniramine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) interacts with many other drugs and health conditions.
  • The antihistamine (diphenhydramine) can make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use it.
  • 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.
  • Can only take one dose in 24 hours.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough (Aspirin / Chlorpheniramine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Tylenol Pm (Acetaminophen / Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Stomach bleeding
    • 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
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
  • Harm to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Reye's syndrome
    • Age 18 years or younger
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Increased falls
    • History of falls
    • Age 65 or older
    • Taking other drugs that make you drowsy or dizzy
  • Liver damage
    • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease
  • Antihistamine side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Glaucoma
    • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
See more detailed risks and warnings