This is really shocking and could change the way we get relief from colds and congestion.

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The Food and Drug Administration unanimously voted on Tuesday that the main ingredient used in several over-the-counter drugs (phenylephrine) doesn't work to make you feel better.

The unanimous vote, which specifically declared oral formulations of phenylephrine ineffective, is expected to disrupt the market for OTC cold and allergy remedies, where consumers largely prefer pills over nasal sprays.

small amount of phenylephrine reaches the nose for relief

So What's Next?

The FDA now has to figure out what's the next step.

The FDA will now need to decide whether to revoke the drug’s OTC designation as “generally recognized as safe and effective.”

OTC medications that have phenylephrine may need to be removed from stores unless manufacturers come up with an alternative to that particular ingredient.

What Over-the-counter (OTC) Medicines Are Affected?

If you use any of these medicines for cold or flu relief there could be a time when these specific medications will not be available for oral medicine:

  • Sudafed PE
  • Vicks Nyquil Sinex Nighttime Sinus Relief
  • Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion

There is no word on when the FDA will make a final decision.

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