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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to pseudoephedrine or to other decongestants, diet pills, stimulants, or ADHD medications.
Before taking pseudoephedrine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- heart disease or high blood pressure;
- diabetes; or
- a thyroid disorder.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take pseudoephedrine.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Pseudoephedrine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.
Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor’s advice. Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.
Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Pseudoephedrine is contained in many over-the-counter medications. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains pseudoephedrine.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Symptoms of a pseudoephedrine overdose may include feeling restless or nervous.
Since cold medicine is usually taken only as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
- severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
- increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild loss of appetite;
- warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
- feeling excited or restless;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- skin rash or itching.
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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- medicines to treat high blood pressure;
- a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), timolol (Blocadren), and others; or
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with pseudoephedrine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Afrinol, Chlor Trimeton Nasal Decongestant, Contac 12-Hour, Contac Cold, Decofed, Decofed Liquid, Dimetapp 12-Hour Non-Drowsy Extentabs, Dimetapp Decongestant, Dimetapp Infant Drops, Drixoral Decongestant Non-Drowsy, Drixoral Non-Drowsy, Efidac, Elixsure Decongestant, Genaphed, Kid Kare Drops, Myfedrine, Pediacare Drops, Ridafed, Seudotabs, Sudafed, Sudafed 12-Hour, Sudafed 24-Hour, SudoGest, SudoGest 12 Hour, Sudodrin, Sudrine, Superfed, Suphedrin, Triaminic A.M., Triaminic Softchews Allergy Congestion, Tylenol Simply Stuffy, Unifed, pseudoephedrine, Cenafed, Entex, nasofed, Silfedrine, Sudafed Child Nasal Decongestant, Sudafed Children's Nasal Decongestant, and Triaminic Infant Drops
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04