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

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

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Relieves cold and flu symptoms.

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

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.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1740 reviewsforSudafed
Upsides
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / 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 pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than to other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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1740 reviews so far
82%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Alka-Seltzer Plus Day Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver damage
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Chronic cough from an infection
    • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • History of smoking
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings