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Sudafed PE Maximum Strength Nasal Decongestant, Non-Drowsy (10 mg), 72-Count Tablets (Pack of 2)

Sudafed PE Maximum Strength Nasal Decongestant, Non-Drowsy (10 mg), 72-Count Tablets (P...


2.7 out of 5 stars
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2.75 / 5 based on 4 Reviews

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Sudafed PE Maximum Strength Nasal Decongestant, Non-Drowsy (10 mg), 72-Count Tablets (Pack of 2)
Sudafed PE Maximum Strength Nasal Decongestant, Non-Drowsy (10 mg), 72-Count Tablets (Pack of 2)
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Casey K.
Burlington, KY
211 reviews
Phenylephrine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in this medication, was approved by the FDA in the 1970s as an over-the-counter decongestant. Their decision hinged on a few small-scale studies that showed a dosage of 10 milligrams could be effective for the stated purpose.

However, within the last decade, a number of studies have called these results into question. In fact, the FDA changed its procedures in reviewing medications since the 1970s, as you might expect, and it's unlikely the FDA would approve it now. Only four small-scale studies at the time of FDA approval showed any difference between phenylephrine and a placebo (a sugar pill containing no medication), compared to seven other studies at the time that showed phenylephrine was no better than a placebo. Considering the sizes of those four studies, phenylephrine was shown to be effective in such low numbers as to be essentially statistical noise, not actually a real, effective treatment for congestion.

A much larger study, which was published a few months ago, compared doses of 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg of phenylephrine to a placebo, and found that phenylephrine in even much larger doses than is marketed here (as commonly found in a variety of phenylephrine-based decongestant medications) was no better than a placebo.

It's expected that the FDA will re-review phenylephrine hydrochloride in light of these findings, using the new studies done since the original 1970s approval, and pull this ineffective medication off of shelves.

Several times in the past, I have myself bought phenylephrine hydrochloride to deal with congestion, as it's always there on drug store shelves and easily bought online, yet I always found the results lacking. Now, I know why. Phenylephrine hydrochloride does not treat congestion and the science behind its label claims is severely lacking.

The results people do get from this medication, if they get anything at all, likely comes from other things they are taking or other behaviors they have when they're sick or have allergies. Rarely does a person take just one pill and make no other changes to their life in these situations. Getting more fluids, drinking peppermint tea, or even eating spicy foods will naturally act as a decongestant. Many people will also take multiple medications, some of which may have an effect on their congestion. All that, combined with the placebo effect of believing the marketing of phenylephrine hydrochloride, and they believe their congestion is getting better because of this pill.

So why is phenylephrine everywhere? It's because pseudoephedrine hydrochloride is now restricted as part of efforts to curb methamphetamine production (pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in many meth "cooks"), and only sold behind the counter at drug stores, and in restricted amounts. Companies want to get their drug products out to as many customers as possible, and so they make versions of their drugs with phenylephrine, or they have switched entirely to pheylephrine in their products, in order to keep their drugs on the shelves in front of customers. If they use pseudoephedrine, their drug has to be hid behind the counter where customers browsing the aisles looking for cold medication won't see it. Unfortunately, the same regulations that keep pseudoephedrine behind the counter in drug stores are the same ones that keep pseudoephedrine from being sold online where it's convenient (and maybe cheaper). You will only find phenylephrine here.

If you want pseudoephedrine, which is a proven decongestant, you'll unfortunately need to go out to an actual drug store or grocery store, and ask the pharmacist for some. You'll have to present photo ID so the DEA can track your pseudoephedrine purchases (as per the PATRIOT Act, believe it or not), and you can only buy so much per day and per month.
Becky H.
Lansing, KS
143 reviews
This Sudafed isn't the kind behind the counter. I don't find it as effective. The fact that its non drowsy is nice, but Sudafed doesn't usually make me tired anyway. I wont buy this again.
Nicole W.
109 reviews
It' s a decent nasal decongestant but I don't use it on its own. I mostly use it along with other medications because it helps extend the results. it doesn't seem to really clear my sinuses but it keeps them clear once they're cleared.
Farzana A.
Middletown, OH
90 reviews
Whenever I have sinus congestion this is always the medicine I reach for. It clears up my sinus within an hour. I would recommend to anyone with sinus pressure.
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