Compare Phenylephrine vs. Nasacort AQ

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

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Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)

Prescription or OTC

Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)

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 allergy symptoms.

Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is the only medication in its class available over the counter for treating stuffy and runny nose due to allergies. You have to use it every day for it to work.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 328 reviewsforNasacort AQ
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
  • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Can't be used on as-needed basis. Must be taken every day.
  • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left.
  • Since the medicine in Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
  • Needs to be primed before use and re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
  • Nasal spray
Price
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Reviews
164 reviews so far
44%
saidit'sworth it
24%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?

Leave a review
328 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
39%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Changes in the nasal septum
    • Long-term use
  • Decreased wound healing
    • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Reduced immune system
    • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
    • Exposure to tuberculosis
  • Glaucoma and cataracts
    • Long-term use
  • Adrenal suppression
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
    • Using other inhaled steroids with Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
  • Decrease in growth in children and teenagers
    • Long-term use
    • Taking more than recommended dose
See more detailed risks and warnings