Pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine and phenylephrine are the common types of decongestants, according to Healthline. Decongestants act as receptors on the blood vessels making them shrink, thus reducing blood flow to the tissue, notes MedicineNet.
Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve stuffy nose, sinus congestion and other breathing problems such as allergies, says Mayo Clinic. While using pseudoephedrine, some side effects such as vomiting, dizziness, headache and nausea can be encountered, notes WebMD. Pseudoephedrine is available in a wide range of forms including tablet, liquid and capsule, informs Mayo Clinic.
Phenylpropanolamine is a combination medication for treating chest congestion, cough and stuffy nose problems, notes WebMD. The drug cannot be administered to pregnant women as it mixes with breast milk, and this can affect the nursing child, states MedicineNet. The medicine dose depends on the age of the patient and the strength of the medicine, states Mayo Clinic.
Before prescribing phenylephrine, the doctor may examine a patient’s medical history, and this may include checking for conditions such as blood vessel problems, glaucoma and mood disorders, notes WebMD. Phenylephrine should not be used by young children as it can cause life-threatening side effects, directs Mayo Clinic. Some common side effects include shaking, lightheadedness, a fast heartbeat and nervousness, states WebMD.