Actifed Cold and Allergy medication can be purchased over-the-counter in most supermarkets and department stores. It contains a combination of chlorpheniramine, which reduces the amount of histamine in the body, and phenylephrine, which is a decongestant.
Since histamines induce reactions to certain allergens, this medication can be used to treat most allergy symptoms such as sneezes, itchy eyes, and runny noses. Because stuffy nasal passages can also be a problem, Actifed contains phenylephrine to restrict blood vessels in the nose and prevent swelling, which is the cause of congestion. These symptoms may be part of the common cold, so many customers choose to purchase this medication to alleviate those unwanted effects as well.
Side effects of Actifed Cold and Allergy may include drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, fainting, seizure, or in more extreme cases, hallucination. More typical side effects that may be barely noticeable are dry eyes and nasal passages, painful urination, insomnia, or excitability especially in children. Most patients experience these side effects in mild form.
Patients should not use Actifed Cold and Allergy along with an MAO inhibitor. Dangerous side effects may result. Those with severe and uncontrolled blood pressure should not use this medication. People with narrow angle glaucoma and those who are unable to urinate should also refrain from taking Actifed Cold and Allergy. Other conditions that will need to be checked before taking this medicine include heart disease, epilepsy, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease. Doctors' advice for patients with these conditions will vary depending on the severity of the problem. Doctors will also determine if the benefits of taking Actifed Cold and Allergy outweigh any risks associated with it. Since this medication is categorized as a C drug, it is not known whether it will harm an unborn baby. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take this medicine.