1) Oral decongestant ingredient: pseudoephedrine is found in Sudafed, Contact Non-Drowsy, & most combination cold products and most recently phenylephrine is being used as the main active ingredient. Phenylephrine is not as effective as pseudoephedrine.
Until recently, pseudoephedrine has been the more commonly used decongestant and the main active ingredient in many popular nonprescription cold and allergy medications. Unfortunately, pseudoephedrine is also a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine, a highly addictive illegal stimulant. In an effort to combat methamphetamine production, federal law has recently required that all nonprescription medications containing pseudoephedrine be taken off drugstore shelves and be stored behind the counter in the pharmacy. To purchase these medications, you must go to the pharmacy, show some form of government-issued identification, and sign a logbook.
Some drug companies are concerned that this inconvenience may discourage people from buying cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine. As a result they are quietly reformulating these products — removing the decongestant ingredient or replacing pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine. The label has not changed, and many people naturally assume that the product is unchanged as well.
2) Nasal Sprays with a Decongestant ingredient: oxymetazoline is in Afrin, Neo-Synephrine, Sinex and phenylephrine is in Neo-Synephrine, and Sinex
3) Saline Nasal Spray (salt water) every 2 hours or as needed is the safest method to help clear the nose and avoids all of the side effects listed below: