It is the time that we all hate collectively.

It is cold and flu season. With the change of seasons, it is inevitable to get a little sniffle here and there.

Before you head to your medicine cabinet to get the goods, what if I told you that Nyquil and Dayquil may not be effective anymore?

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FDA & Nyquil/Dayquil

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/ Thinkstock

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously voted that the key ingredient in many over-the-counter cold and allergy medications does not work to get rid of nasal congestion.

Phenylephrine — found in drugs including Sudafed PE, Vicks Nyquil Sinex Nighttime Sinus Relief and Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion — is the most popular oral decongestant in the United States, generating almost $1.8 billion in sales last year, according to data presented Monday by FDA officials.

This vote is expected to shake things up for the market for OTC cold and allergy meds since a lot of customers prefer pills rather than nasal sprays.

Phenylephrine is meant to reduce swelling of the blood vessels in the nose to relieve congestion.


What Happens Next?

That's a good question.

As of now, nothing just yet.

The FDA will now need to decide whether to revoke the drug’s OTC designation as 'generally recognized as safe and effective.' The designation, typically used for older drugs, allows drugmakers to include an ingredient in OTC products without the need to file an FDA application.

The products containing that drug may have to be pulled from shelves and manufacturers may need to make a new formula.

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