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Leading ingredient in over-the-counter decongestants doesn’t work, FDA panel rules



The key ingredient in popular decongestants such as Sudafed PE, Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion and Allegra-D doesn’t relieve nasal congestion when taken orally, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel concluded in a meeting Tuesday (Sept. 12).

After reviewing years’ worth of data, the FDA’s Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee (NDAC) found that the effectiveness of the decongestant ingredient, phenylephrine, can help relieve a stuffy nose when delivered straight into the nose — via a nasal spray, for example — but doesn’t work when taken by mouth, the 16 panelists unanimously decided. 

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