- 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
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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.
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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).
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.
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.
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.
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Cough (Chronic, Persistent Cough in Adults and Children)
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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.
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