While these findings may come as a surprise to consumers, some healthcare professionals state they’ve been aware of phenylephrine’s ineffectiveness for quite some time now. Dr. Natalee King, a Phoenix-based pharmacist who manages Fairmont Pharmacy, told Arizona’s Family, “I’ve been a pharmacist for 22 years and when people ask for recommendations, I’ve been telling them for 22 years it doesn’t work.” The reason being, she says, is because the drug isn’t effectively absorbed into the bloodstream when taken as a tablet. However, this is not the case for phenylephrine-containing nasal sprays, which do target swollen blood vessels in the nose, Dr. King explains.
Should the FDA vote in alignment with the advisory committee, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association told NBC News that the decision could be detrimental to both drug manufacturers and consumers by limiting their congestion treatment options. Yet the advisory board highlights that there are still plenty of options available for purchase. While the timeline for when the FDA will reach a decision is currently unknown, experts emphasize that there is no question as to the safety of the drug.