Generic Name: pseudoephedrine (SOO doe ee FED rin)
Brand Name: Chlor Trimeton Nasal Decongestant, Contac Cold, Drixoral Decongestant Non-Drowsy, Elixsure Decongestant, Genaphed, Nasofed, Nexafed, Silfedrine, Sudafed, Sudafed Children's Nasal Decongestant, SudoGest, Suphedrin, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Congestion
Medically reviewed on February 1, 2018.
What is pseudoephedrine?
Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).
Pseudoephedrine is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, or congestion of the tubes that drain fluid from your inner ears, called the eustachian (yoo-STAY-shun) tubes.
Pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to pseudoephedrine.
Do not use pseudoephedrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use pseudoephedrine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
heart disease or high blood pressure;
enlarged prostate and urination problems;
a thyroid disorder.
Artificially sweetened liquid medicine may contain phenylalanine. Check the medication label if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
It is not known whether pseudoephedrine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether pseudoephedrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take pseudoephedrine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
You may need to shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using pseudoephedrine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Protect the liquid medicine from light, and do not allow it to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since pseudoephedrine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include hallucinations, slow heartbeats, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking pseudoephedrine?
Avoid taking this medication if you also take diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications). Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cough or cold medicine. Many combination medicines contain pseudoephedrine or another decongestant. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medicine.
Pseudoephedrine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using pseudoephedrine and call your doctor at once if you have:
Common side effects may include:
feeling restless or nervous.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect pseudoephedrine?
Other drugs may interact with pseudoephedrine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.03.
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- Drug class: decongestants