prescription drugs
Free drug information service 
All available medical information about prescription drugs 

Pseudoephedrine

What is pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. It works by constricting (shrinking) blood vessels (veins and arteries) in the nose, lungs, and other mucus membranes. By decreasing blood flow to the nose, lungs, and other areas, pseudoephedrine decreases congestion, and airways are opened up.

Pseudoephedrine is used to treat congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold.

Pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about pseudoephedrine

Do not take pseudoephedrine for longer than 7 days if your condition does not improve or if symptoms are accompanied by a high fever.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended on the package or by your doctor.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Pseudoephedrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release, timed-release, or 12-hour formulations of pseudoephedrine. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in the body.

Who should not take pseudoephedrine

Do not take pseudoephedrine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- high blood pressure;
- heart disease, hardening of the arteries, or irregular heartbeats;
- thyroid problems;
- diabetes;
- glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye(s);
- an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating;
- liver disease; or
- kidney disease.

You may not be able to take pseudoephedrine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take pseudoephedrine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Pseudoephedrine passes into breast milk however, it is generally considered safe for use during breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor before taking pseudoephedrine if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from pseudoephedrine. You may require a lower dose of the medication. Using a short-acting formulation of pseudoephedrine (not a long-acting or controlled-release formulation) may be safer if you are over 60 years of age.

How should take pseudoephedrine

Take pseudoephedrine exactly as directed by your doctor, or follow the instructions that accompany the package. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, or break any extended-release, timed-release, or 12-hour forms of pseudoephedrine. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly into the body.

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure liquid forms of pseudoephedrine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended on the package or by your doctor.

Do not take pseudoephedrine for longer than 7 days if your condition does not improve or if symptoms are accompanied by a high fever.

Store pseudoephedrine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a pseudoephedrine overdose include extreme tiredness, sweating, dizziness, a slow heartbeat, and coma.

Avoid while taking pseudoephedrine

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Pseudoephedrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Possible side effects of pseudoephedrine

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from this medication, stop taking pseudoephedrine and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- seizures;
- unusual behavior or hallucinations; or
- irregular or fast heartbeats.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take pseudoephedrine and talk to your doctor if you experience
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or drowsiness;
- headache;
- insomnia;
- anxiety;
- tremor (shaking) or restlessness;
- nausea or vomiting; or
- sweating.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect pseudoephedrine

Do not take pseudoephedrine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with pseudoephedrine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox