Olongapo City, Philippines – Ever since the commercial hit local television stations, a lot of my patients have been taking Bioflu as if it was plain old Paracetamol. It is true that it contains 500 mg of the said drug but it also contains two other drugs with significant side effects that affect activities of daily living.
Phenylephrine is the decongestant component of Neozep, Decolgen, Tuseran and Bioflu. It is a vasoconstrictor with no effect on the heart but has a side effect of increasing your blood pressure.
There are other side effects but are also rare. Due to some studies regarding the efficacy of this drug, it is often combined with chlorphenamine maleate or bromphenamine, an antihistamine, to increase its effectiveness. Chlorphenamine maleate, a 1st-generation antihistamine has also side effects, mainly sleeping or drowsiness.
The suggested manufacturer’s daily dosing is every 6 hours but I prescribe them only 3 times a day in my practice to avoid unnecessary side effects. It is still the best initial drug of therapy for both nonallergic and allergic rhinitis in the Philippines due to its very low cost and it is an over-the-counter preparation. All preparations containing the 3 drugs mentioned are relatively very safe if taken properly. At every 4 hours, you are risking yourself to develop side effects from all of the drugs found in the preparation. It is very dangerous if you don’t consult with your GP or family doctor.
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MEDICOLEGAL PITFALL: Although I know some doctors who do prescribe Bioflu, Neozep, Decolgen, and Tuseran at doses of every 4 hours, they always have a very good reason to do so. Some patients who have been taking the drug chronically have developed tolerance to some or all of the drugs and some patients needs a bigger dose due to their weight. Don’t go suing your family doctor just because they deviate from the norm. If you feel that the drug is causing some unwanted effect, tell your GP or family doctor! There are alternatives that your GP or family doctor can prescribe you. And he/she can update your medical record accordingly regarding this side effect to prevent future problems with the drug.
Zero Mella MD, practices Primary Care at Afable Medical Center and Bioline Medical Clinic at Olongapo City
DISCLOSURE: He does not receive compensation and is not endosing any product from Unilab or other manufacturers of the above mentioned drugs. Medical therapeutics is an ever-changing science and the information above is believed to be accurate at the time of writing. Always ask your GP or family doctor regarding management of your illness.
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