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Drug Profile

Do NOT stop taking this or any drug without the advice of your physician. Some drugs can cause severe adverse effects when they are stopped suddenly.

Do Not Use [what does this mean?]
Generic drug name: fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (fex a FEN a deen and soo doe e FED rin)
Brand name(s): ALLEGRA D
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Combination antihistamine, decongestants and/or cough preparations
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Do Not Use [what does this mean?]
Generic drug name: loratadine and pseudoephedrine (lor AT a deen and soo doe e FED rin)
Brand name(s): CLARITIN D, CLARITIN D 24
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Combination antihistamine, decongestants and/or cough preparations
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Do Not Use [what does this mean?]
Generic drug name: promethazine and phenylephrine (proe METH a zeen and fen ill e FED rin)
Brand name(s): PROMETHAZINE VC
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Combination antihistamine, decongestants and/or cough preparations
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Do Not Use [what does this mean?]
Generic drug name: triprolidine and pseudoephedrine (trye PROE li deen and see doe e FED rin)
Brand name(s): ACTIFED
GENERIC: not available FAMILY: Combination antihistamine, decongestants and/or cough preparations
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Alternative Treatment [top]

See individual drug families.

Facts About This Drug [top]

The adverse risk and regulatory actions associated with the use of pseudoephedrine-containing products are discussed in the drug monograph for pseudoephedrine (SUDAFED).

All of these prescription or over-the-counter drug combinations of two or more ingredients should not be used because they are irrational combinations of single ingredients, some of which are safe and effective and sensible to use alone if treating the symptom for which they are intended. The combinations, however,...

The adverse risk and regulatory actions associated with the use of pseudoephedrine-containing products are discussed in the drug monograph for pseudoephedrine (SUDAFED).

All of these prescription or over-the-counter drug combinations of two or more ingredients should not be used because they are irrational combinations of single ingredients, some of which are safe and effective and sensible to use alone if treating the symptom for which they are intended. The combinations, however, present extra risks from extra ingredients that will usually not add any benefit to the first ingredient and will invariably cost much more than the single ingredient alone. They represent a “shotgun” approach to multiple symptoms of colds, coughs and allergies that rarely occur in force in the combination that is suggested by the ingredients in these products.

Alternative treatments include nose sprays or drops for a stuffed nose from a cold (see AFRIN) and single-ingredient oral antihistamines for allergies (see chlorpheniramine). Coughs associated with upper respiratory infections are best not treated with drugs.

There are two reasons why we oppose these combinations for colds:

1. There is no adequate evidence to suggest that the use of an antihistamine for a cold, which is an infectious (not an allergic) phenomenon, will be effective. In fact, the mucous-membrane drying effect of antihistamines may actually impair the healing of the cold.

2. We have consistently opposed the use of systemic (oral) decongestants — all of which are stimulants — for treating nasal congestion from a cold because they involve using 25 to 50 times more of the drug than would be used in the form of nose drops or nasal sprays, the preferred treatments (See AFRIN).

Our opposition to these combinations for the treatment of allergies is based on the fact that there is no satisfactory evidence to suggest that people with allergies will benefit from a nasal decongestant.

last reviewed August 31, 2020