PORTSMOUTH, Virginia (WAVY) – As cold and allergy season approaches, FDA advisors said this week That popular over the counter decongestants don’t actually work.
The FDA could potentially take steps to remove the ingredient, phenylephrine, from the market and store shelves.
“I don’t know exactly what caused the sudden ‘it doesn’t work’ decision from the FDA, but there has been evidence for a long time,” said Dr. Ashley Schroder, an ear, nose and throat specialist at EVMS. Are.”
Schroder said that when taken orally, phenylephrine is first metabolized in the intestine, so very small amounts reach your bloodstream.
“I always tell patients to ask about the Sudafed they keep behind the counter, because you need it,” Schroeder said.
That product and others contain pseudoephedrine. Other decongestants were kept behind pharmacy counters about 20 years ago because they can be used to make methamphetamine.
That’s when phenylephrine became popular because you didn’t have to show any ID to get it.
“I don’t think taking these drugs is causing any harm to people other than hurting their checkbooks,” Schroeder said.
And so you don’t waste any more money, Schroeder suggests you may be able to prevent a clogged nose before it starts.
“Saline, saline, saline,” she said. “I can’t say that enough. It’s a great product and just the salt water nasal spray or the salt water nasal rinse really helps alleviate a lot of the symptoms.”
The doctor said, you can use saline as often as you want because you cannot take too much of it. He suggested that if you suffer from fall allergies, start using it and/or use a corticosteroid spray like Flonase or Nasacort once a day as weed pollen begins to increase in Hampton Roads.