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Sudafed PE is a medication commonly used for treating nasal and sinus congestion. This non-prescription medication is a type of decongestant that works by causing the blood vessels in the lining of the nose and sinuses to constrict. This allows less fluid to leave the blood vessels and decreases inflammation. Potential side effects include nervousness, dizziness, and insomnia.

What Is Sudafed PE?

Sudafed PE® (phenylephrine hydrochloride) is a non-prescription decongestant medication. The drug is used to relieve:
 
Sudafed PE was formulated in response to regulations that require original Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) products to be kept "behind the counter" to avoid the misuse of the medication to make methamphetamine. These regulations do not apply to Sudafed PE.
 
(Click Sudafed PE Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 
It should be noted that there are several different Sudafed PE medications, many of which contain additional active ingredients other than phenylephrine. This article focuses primarily on phenylephrine, not the other active ingredients in such products.
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Brand-name Sudafed PE is made by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, while other versions of phenylephrine (including other brand-name medications or generic medications) are made by various other manufacturers.
 

How Does Sudafed PE Work?

Sudafed PE is part of a class of drugs called decongestants. Specifically, it works by stimulating certain receptors known as alpha-adrenergic receptors. In the lining of the nose and sinuses, this action causes the blood vessels to constrict, allowing less fluid to leave the blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. This helps to relieve nasal and sinus congestion.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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