pseudoephedrine (Oral, Afrinol, Sudafed)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Take the Cold & Flu Quiz

DOSING:

  • The recommended dose is 60 mg every 4 to 6 hours when using immediate release tablets. When using extended release tablets the recommended dose is 120 mg every 12 hours or 240 mg every 24 hours.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:

  • Pseudoephedrine should not be combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) because such combinations may cause an acute hypertensive episode. Examples of MAOIs include rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY:

  • Use of pseudoephedrine by pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated.
  • Pseudoephedrine is secreted in breast milk. However, it is considered safe to use while nursing.

PREPARATIONS:

  • Tablet (immediate-release): 30, 60 mg; Tablet (extended-release): 120, 240 mg

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM:

  • Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant used for reducing nasal congestion caused by allergies or the common cold. Pseudoephedrine causes blood vessels in the nasal passages to shrink (vasoconstrict). Vasoconstriction reduces nasal congestion by preventing fluid from draining from blood vessels into nasal passages. Pseudoephedrine also directly stimulates beta-adrenergic receptors and causes relaxation of bronchioles, as well as increased heart rate and contractility.
  • The FDA approved pseudoephedrine in August 1975.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/11/2016
Cold & Flu Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors