Pseudoephedrine: Uses & Side effects

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.

Important information

Do not give
pseudoephedrine to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before
giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of
cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cough or cold medicine. Pseudoephedrine or other decongestants are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains pseudoephedrine or a decongestant. Do not use pseudoephedrine if you have used a MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Side effects

Get emergency
medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to
pseudoephedrine: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips,
tongue, or throat. Stop using pseudoephedrine and call your doctor at once if
you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast,
    pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • severe
    dizziness or anxiety;
  • easy
    bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu
    symptoms; or
  • dangerously
    high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, ringing in your ears,
    anxiety, confusion, chest pain, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, seizure).

Less serious
pseudoephedrine side effects may include:

  • loss of appetite;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children);
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • skin rash or itching.

Keywords: Pseudoephedrine

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