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Actifed is a registered trademark for a combination antihistamine and nasal decongestant medication used for cold and allergy symptoms. Actifed was developed in 1958 by Burroughs Wellcome & Company (now part of GlaxoSmithKline).[1]

2006 U.S. formula change[edit]

The original formula for Actifed contained pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 60 mg as the nasal decongestant and triprolidine hydrochloride 2.5 mg as the antihistamine. However, in response to widespread laws requiring products containing pseudoephedrine to be kept behind the pharmacy counter, Pfizer changed Actifed's U.S. formula in late 2006 to contain phenylephrine HCl 10 mg as the nasal decongestant and chlorpheniramine maleate 4 mg as the antihistamine before the product was reacquired by GSK.[2] Many users of the old formula have complained that the new formula is not as effective at relieving their symptoms. Other brands available behind the counter that use the old formula include Genac and Aprodine. The American pharmacy chain Walgreens produced a house-brand version of Actifed, Wal-Act, which used the original pseudoephedrine/triprolidine formula.[3]

In the UK, Germany, and Italy the formulation remained unchanged. The product is available Over-the-counter as a pack of 12 tablets produced by McNeil. Each tablet contains Triprolidine hydrochloride 2.5 mg and Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 60 mg. Since 2012, Actifed is no longer available in Thailand. Actifed as well as all drugs with pseudoephedrine are now strictly controlled under Thailand's narcotics control law so it was withdrawn from the market.

In Germany, the product is marketed under the registered trademark Rhino PRONT.[4]

Apollo missions[edit]

Actifed was included in the standard medical kit aboard the United States Apollo missions, and was used during Apollo 7 and Apollo 12 when crew members developed head cold symptoms.[5] When Actifed was made available over-the-counter, former astronauts from the Apollo missions appeared in commercials promoting the product.[6]


  1. ^ "Our history - About GlaxoSmithKline". Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  2. ^ "FAQ". Archived from the original on October 27, 2007.
  3. ^ "Walgreens Wal-Act Cold & Allergy Medicine Tablets".
  4. ^ Details of German product
  5. ^ SP-368 Biomedical Results of Apollo, NASA
  6. ^ YouTube video of astronauts' advertisement

External links[edit]