Phenylephrine Not Effective…According To FDA; Popular Decongestant No Better Than Placebo Pills

A popular medication found in over-the-counter decongestants, does not work.

An FDA advisory panel says phenylephrine is ineffective at doing what it is advertised to do. It is supposed to unclog your nose. 

People take the chemical to clear head congestion and help them breathe better.   Phenylephrine is in some Sudafed and Benadryl products.

But the FDA says it is no more effective than a placebo pill.

What’s next?

It is up to the FDA to decide whether or not phenylephrine should be removed from products, or if the chemical will remain in products, and you will continue to pay for a medication  that does not work.


FILE – Sudafed and other common nasal decongestants containing pseudoephedrine are on display behind the counter at Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla., Jan. 11, 2005. On Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023 advisers to the Food and Drug Administration said that a different ingredient, phenylephrine, is ineffective at relieving nasal congestion. Drugmakers reformulated their products with phenylephrine after a 2006 law required pseudoephedrine-containing medications be sold from the behind pharmacy counter. (AP Photo, File) used locally Sept 13th 2023