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What is acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine?
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.
Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.
Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).
Acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine is a combination medicine used to treat headache, fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and sinus congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.
Acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine?
Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking this medicine?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, or phenylephrine.
Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
asthma or COPD, cough with mucus, or cough caused by smoking, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis;
a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
liver disease, alcoholism, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;
high blood pressure, heart disease, coronary artery disease, or recent heart attack;
enlarged prostate or urination problems;
pheochromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor); or
if you take potassium (Cytra, Epiklor, K-Lyte, K-Phos, Kaon, Klor-Con, Polycitra, Urocit-K).
It is not known whether acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without your doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
This medication may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Antihistamines and decongestants may also slow breast milk production. Do not use this medicine without your doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take this medicine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. This medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Drop the effervescent tablets into a glass of water (at least 4 ounces, or one-half cup). Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
Do not take for longer than 7 days in a row. Stop taking the medicine and call your doctor if you still have a fever after 3 days of use, you still have pain after 7 days (or 5 days if treating a child), if your symptoms get worse, or if you have a skin rash, ongoing headache, or any redness or swelling.
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken this medicine within the past few days.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since this medicine is taken when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
What should I avoid while taking this medicine?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen, and can increase certain side effects of chlorpheniramine.
This medicine may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.
Acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
chest pain, rapid pulse, fast or uneven heart rate;
confusion, hallucinations, severe nervousness;
tremor, seizure (convulsions);
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
little or no urinating;
nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects may include:
mild headache, blurred vision;
dry mouth, nose, or throat;
feeling nervous; or
sleep problems (insomnia);
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
What other drugs will affect acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using this medicine if you are also using any other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used together. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.