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iVillage.com: 9 Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

Oral Decongestant

Uses: Clearing a stuffy nose

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) open up the nasal passages so you can breathe easier. It’s available in formulas that last for 4, 12 or 24 hours. You’ll get all-day relief from the 24-hour formula, but it may keep you awake. Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) tends to be less effective due to poor oral absorption, says Mantione, so use a nasal spray containing phenylephrine for better results. (Editor's note: Though you don’t need a prescription for pseudoephedrine, you have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter and show ID because it's a key ingredient used to make the street drug crystal meth).

(CREDIT: Amazon.com)
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