What is pseudoephedrine?

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Generic Name: Pseudoephedrine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is pseudoephedrine used for?

Pseudoephedrine is used for the temporary relief of stuffy nose and sinus pain/pressure caused by infection (such as the common cold, flu) or other breathing illnesses (such as hay fever, allergies, bronchitis). Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant (sympathomimetic). It works by narrowing the blood vessels to decrease swelling and congestion.

If you are self-treating with this medication, it is important to read the manufacturer’s package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions section.)

Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Do not use this product in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Long-acting tablets/capsules are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.

These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar decongestants (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Your doctor may direct you to use pseudoephedrine to decrease pain and swelling in the ear or to help “open up” the ear canal when there is a change in air pressure (such as during air travel, underwater diving). Follow your doctor’s directions carefully.

How should I take pseudoephedrine?

If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually every 4-6 hours, as directed by the product package or by your doctor. Do not take more than 4 doses in a day. Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take more of this medication than recommended for your age.

If you are using the chewable tablets, chew each tablet well and swallow. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/cup. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

There are many brands and forms of pseudoephedrine available. Some tablets should be swallowed with plenty of water. Check your product package for specific directions. Read the dosing instructions carefully for each product because the amount of pseudoephedrine may be different between products. Do not take more pseudoephedrine than recommended.

Caffeine can increase the side effects of this medication. Avoid drinking large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, colas), eating large amounts of chocolate, or taking nonprescription products that contain caffeine.

If your symptoms do not improve after 7 days, if they worsen or return, if you develop fever, rash, or a persistent headache, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

How do I store pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine  is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store pseudoephedrine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of pseudoephedrine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush pseudoephedrine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using pseudoephedrine?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Pseudoephedrine may be more likely to cause side effects in infants, especially newborn and premature infants, than in older children and adults.

Do not give any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine to a baby or child under 4 years of age. Using these medicines in very young children might cause serious or possibly life-threatening side effects .

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of pseudoephedrine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Is it safe to take pseudoephedrine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this medication during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of pseudoephedrine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using pseudoephedrine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • severe dizziness or anxiety;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • loss of appetite;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children);
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • skin rash or itching.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with pseudoephedrine?

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Clorgyline
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Guanethidine
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Methyldopa
  • Midodrine

Does food or alcohol interact with pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus—Use of pseudoephedrine may cause an increase in blood glucose levels
  • Enlarged prostate or
  • Glaucoma, or a predisposition to glaucoma or
  • Heart disease or blood vessel disease or
  • High blood pressure—Pseudoephedrine may make the condition worse
  • Overactive thyroid—Use of pseudoephedrine may make the condition worse

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of pseudoephedrine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Nasal Congestion

Immediate release: 30 to 60 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

Sustained release: 120 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Sustained release suspension: 45 to 100 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Maximum daily dose is 240 mg/day.

What is the dose of pseudoephedrine for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nasal Congestion

2 years to 5 years:

Immediate release: 15 mg every 6 hours.

Sustained release suspension: 12.5 to 25 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Maximum daily dose is 60 mg/day.

Alternative dosing: 1 mg/kg/dose every 6 hours; maximum dose: 15 mg.

6 years to 12 years:

Immediate release: 30 mg every 6 hours.

Sustained release suspension: 25 to 50 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Maximum daily dose is 120 mg/day.

over 12 years:

Immediate release: 30 to 60 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

Sustained release: 120 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Sustained release suspension: 50 to 100 mg orally every 12 hours as needed.

Maximum daily dose is 240 mg/day.

How is pseudoephedrine available?

Pseudoephedrine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Capsule 120 mg

Solution, oral: 30 mg/5 mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of pseudoephedrine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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