Name: Actifed

What is Actifed Cold and Allergy?

Actifed Cold and Allergy contains a combination of chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the 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).

Actifed Cold and Allergy is used to treat symptoms of the common cold or seasonal allergies, including sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

Actifed Cold and Allergy may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use Actifed Cold and Allergy if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Dangerous side effects may occur if you take Actifed Cold and Allergy before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body. Do not use Actifed Cold and Allergy if you are allergic to chlorpheniramine or phenylephrine, or if you have:

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • severe coronary artery disease;

  • narrow angle glaucoma;

  • a stomach ulcer; or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

Do not use Actifed Cold and Allergy tablets during an asthma attack.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before you take Actifed Cold and Allergy, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • diabetes;

  • glaucoma;

  • circulation problems;

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • overactive thyroid;

  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;

  • asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis; or

  • urination problems or an enlarged prostate.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Actifed Cold and Allergy is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Actifed Cold and Allergy without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What should I avoid?

Actifed Cold and Allergy can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Actifed Cold and Allergy.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by chlorpheniramine.

Avoid using other medicines that may cause restlessness (such as caffeine, stimulants, diet pills, and decongestants contained in over-the-counter cold medicines). They can add to the stimulant effects of phenylephrine.

What other drugs will affect Actifed Cold and Allergy?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • mecamylamine (Inversine);

  • methyldopa (Aldomet);

  • reserpine;

  • a beta-blocker such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), esmolol (Brevibloc), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren);

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Actifed Cold and Allergy. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.