Does a common ingredient used in many over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines actually work to get rid of nasal congestion?
That’s the question the Food and Drug Administration will pose to a panel of outside advisers during a two-day meeting next week to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the ingredient, phenylephrine, which is found in many decongestants.
Phenylephrine was approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use in the 1970s. It comes in several forms, including liquids, pills and nasal sprays.
The committee will focus specifically on the oral formulations of the ingredient, which can be found in drugs including Sudafed PE, Vicks Sinex and Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion.