- What is pseudoephedrine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for pseudoephedrine?
- What are the side effects of pseudoephedrine?
- What is the dosage for pseudoephedrine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with pseudoephedrine?
- Is pseudoephedrine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about pseudoephedrine?
What is pseudoephedrine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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.
What brand names are available for pseudoephedrine?
Sudafed, Nexafed, Zephrex-D
Is pseudoephedrine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for pseudoephedrine?
What are the side effects of pseudoephedrine?
Common side effects of pseudoephedrine include:
- Possible serious side effects of pseudoephedrine include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Ischemic colitis
Pseudoephedrine should not be used by people with severe hypertension or coronary artery disease. It should be used with caution in people with mild to moderate hypertension, cardiac disease, hyperthyroidism, hyperglycemia, benign prostatic hyperplasia, diabetes mellitus, kidney problems, seizure disorder, and glaucoma.
What is the dosage for pseudoephedrine?
- 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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with pseudoephedrine?
- 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).
Is pseudoephedrine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about pseudoephedrine?
What preparations of pseudoephedrine are available?
- Tablet (immediate-release): 30, 60 mg; Tablet (extended-release): 120, 240 mg
Latest Cold and Flu News
Daily Health News
Pseudoephedrine Plus Oral (Afrinol, Novafed, Sudafed) is a medication used to treat relief of sinus, nose, and ear congestion caused by the common cold. Side effects, drug interactions, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. Test your...
Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
Aches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and...
Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system where the body's defenses react to substances such as pollen, food and more....
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu
What natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea,...
How to Prevent the Common Cold
The common cold is arguably the most common human illness. Learn how long the common cold lasts, treatment for the common cold...
Home Allergy Quiz: Is Your Home Allergy-Proof?
Take this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home...
10 Worst Cities for Spring Allergies With Pictures
See pictures of the top 10 "spring allergy capitals", according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). From...
Addicted to Pills: The Health Risks of Drug Abuse
What is drug abuse? Learn about prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including depressants, pain relievers,...
Pictures of Allergy Relief Tips at Home: AC Filters, Electronic Air Cleaners, and More
Learn how a combination of medication, preventing allergens, and allergy relief products can reduce allergy symptoms and help you...
Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Clogged sinuses and congestion bothering you? Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds and allergies....
The Most Common Food Allergies for Kids and Adults
What common food allergens cause the most problems for adults and children? See this list of common food allergies and learn to...
Out-of-Control Allergy Symptoms: Treatment Relief in Pictures
Learn 10 signs your allergies are out of control. See these surprising allergy symptoms and find out how to get relief for...
Nasal Allergy Attack: Causes, Triggers, Treatments
Nasal allergies are a common problem that affects millions of people. An allergist can recommend the best allergy nasal sprays...
Cold, Fever and Flu Treatment in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children. Learn common cold symptoms, treatment options, over the...
10 Facts About Flu Shots
Is the flu shot necessary? Who should get vaccinated? Learn the benefits and risks of vaccination for seasonal influenza. Find...
Related Disease Conditions
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by a pale-blue-red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to cold. Occurring as a result of spasm of blood vessels, the cause is unknown. Symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon depend on the severity, frequency, and duration of the blood vessel spasm. Treatments include protection of the digits, medications, and avoiding emotional stresses, smoking, cold temperature, and tools that vibrate the hands.
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI)
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include bacteria and viruses such as rhinoviruses, group A streptococci, influenza, respiratory syncytial, whooping cough, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr. Examples of symptoms of upper respiratory infection include sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and nasal congestion. Treatment of upper respiratory infections are based upon the cause. Generally, viral infections are treated symptomatically with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies.
Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
Sinus headache is caused by a sinus infection or inflammation of the sinus cavities. Symptoms of a sinus headache include pain, runny or stuffy nose, and chronic cough. There are many causes of sinus headaches including sinusitis or sinus infection, allergies, smoke, infections, or colds. Treatment for sinus headache depends on the cause. Some home remedies may relieve sinus headache pain symptoms.
Cough: 19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease.Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include stay hydrated, gargle saltwater, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.