Over-the-counter cold medicines made with phenylephrine appear effective for relieving nasal congestion, a U.S. advisory panel said on Friday.
The panel voted 11-1 that available data "is supportive" of the effectiveness of phenylephrine at 10 milligrams, the dose found in many nonprescription cold medicines.
The panel ruled after hearing from researchers who said there was no evidence that 10 milligrams of phenylephrine provided any benefit.
In a 9-3 vote, panel members also urged studies to see if a higher 25-milligram dose worked and was safe.
Makers of phenylephrine products include Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough Corp.