Compare Phenylephrine vs. Flonase

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

Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)

Prescription or OTC

Flonase (fluticasone)

Prescription or OTC
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.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 164 reviewsforPhenylephrine
Relieves nasal allergy symptoms.

Flonase (fluticasone) is a good first-choice treatment for allergies of the nose, but long-term use can increase the risk of nosebleeds.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 890 reviewsforFlonase
  • 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.
  • Only need to use Flonase (fluticasone) once a day. Its effects can last for up to 24 hours.
  • Available over-the-counter and cheaper than many of its alternatives.
  • Highly effective treatment of allergy symptoms in the nose.
  • Flonase (fluticasone) gives you very little to no side effects since it's a nasal spray and doesn't expose the rest of your body to the medicine.
  • 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.
  • Flonase (fluticasone) is not an appropriate medicine for people who have an injured nose or had a recent surgery in the nose.
  • Can slow down the growth rate in children.
  • Can increase the risk of bleeding and fungal infections in the nose.
  • Not recommended for those who are also taking other medicines that lower their ability to fight off infections.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Nasal spray
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164 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?

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890 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Flonase (fluticasone)?

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Side effects
The Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
7possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleed
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Cough
  • Nasal burning/nasal irritation
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Decreased growth rate in children
    • Children
    • Using the medicine for a long period of time
  • Effect on wound healing
    • People who had recent surgery or injury to the nose
  • Lowered ability to fight off infections
    • People who come into contact with others who have chickenpox, measles, or tuberculosis
    • People who have not received a vaccine for chickenpox, measles, or tuberculosis
  • Damage to nose
    • Using the medicine for a long period of time
  • Sinus infection
    • People who recently had the cold or flu
  • Increased risk of nosebleeds
See more detailed risks and warnings