- Type of Drug: Decongestant-expectorant combination.
- Prescribed for: Relief of some symptoms of the common cold, allergy, or other Upper-respiratory conditions; including nasal congestion, stuffiness, and runny nose. Guaifenesin is supposed to help loosen thick mucus that may contribute to your feeling of chest congestion, but the effectiveness of this and other expectorant drugs has not been established.
Entex LA and the other products listed in this section are only a few of the several hundred cold and allergy remedies available on either a prescription-only or nonprescription basis. There is a variety of formulas in these products, such as the combination used in Entex LA. The decongestant ingredient, Phenylpropanolamine, dramatically reduces congestion and stuffiness. The expectorant, Guaifenesin, may help relieve chest congestion. There are other products on the market using this same general formula – an expectorant plus a decongestant – but they use different decongestants or a combination of decongestants plus the expectorant Guaifenesin.
These products should not be used over extended periods to treat a persistent or chronic cough, especially one that may be caused by cigarette smoking, asthma, or emphysema. Information on other decongestant-expectorant combinations can be obtained from your pharmacist.
Since nothing can cure a cold or an allergy, the best you can hope to achieve from taking this or any other cold or allergy remedy is symptom relief.
Cautions and Warnings
These combination products can cause you to become overanxious or nervous and may interfere with your sleep.
Do not use these products if you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, glaucoma, or a prostate condition.
Possible Side Effects
- Most common: fear, anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, tenseness, excitation, nervousness, dizziness, drowsiness, hallucinations, headaches, psychological disturbances, tremors, and convulsions.
- Less common: nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, low blood pressure, heart palpitations, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, abnormal heart rhythms, irritability, euphoria (feeling “high”), eye irritation and tearing, hysterical reactions, reduced appetite, difficulty urinating in men with a prostate condition, weakness, loss of facial color, and breathing difficulty.
• These products should be avoided if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor for depression or high blood pressure because the MAO inhibitor may cause a very rapid rise in blood pressure or increase some side effects (dry mouth or nose, blurred vision, abnormal heart rhythms).
• The decongestant in these products may interfere with the normal effects of blood-pressure-lowering medicines. It can aggravate diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroid disease, high blood pressure, a prostate condition, or stomach ulcers; it can also cause urinary blockage.
Take these medicines with food if they upset your stomach.
1 twice per day.
2 teaspoons 4 times a day.
The main symptoms of overdosage are sedation, sleepiness, increased sweating, and increased blood pressure. Hallucinations, convulsions, and nervous-system depression are particularly prominent in older adults, and breathing may become more difficult. Most cases of overdosage are not severe. Victims must be made to vomit with Syrup of Ipecac (available at any pharmacy) to remove any remaining drug from the stomach. Call your doctor or poison control center before doing this. If you must go to a hospital emergency room, ALWAYS bring the medicine bottle.
Call your doctor if your side effects are severe or gradually become intolerable.
If you forget to take a dose of one of these combination” products, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you forgot and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
These products should be avoided by pregnant women and those who may become pregnant while using it. Discuss the potential risks with your doctor.
Nursing mothers should use caution when taking one of these products because the decongestant may pass into breast milk.
Seniors are more sensitive to the effects of these drugs. Follow your doctor’s directions. Report any side effects at once.