Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that aids in the treatment of coldshay fever and allergies.

Pronunciation: SOO-doe-ee-FED-rin

What are pseudoephedrine’s uses?

Pseudoephedrine is used in the treatment of nasal and sinus congestion, and congestion of the Eustachian tubes (the tubes that drain fluid from the inner ears) caused by the common cold, hay fever and allergies.

What dosage should you take?

This medicine comes in various formats with differing dosages, so first check with your Clicks pharmacist for your particular needs and most specifically for that of your child.

For adults, the standard dosage for immediate release is 30 to 60mg every four to six hours and for sustained release, it’s 120mg every 12 hours.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Do not give pseudoephedrine to a child younger than four years of age. Always take care when giving cough and cold medicine to a child as misuse can be fatal. Read the dosage instructions carefully and/or seek advise from your doctor or Clicks pharmacist.
  • Seek advice before using pseudoephedrine in combination with any other decongestant.
  • Avoid caffeine when taking this medication as it may increase the side effects.
  • Do not use pseudoephedrine if you have taken or are taking an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), a class of antidepressant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant as it is not known if this medication can affect an unborn baby. ,
  • Pseudoephedrine may pass into breast milk, so avoid its use while breastfeeding.
  • Do not use this medication for longer than seven days in a row.
  • Do not crush or chew the extended release tablet, as breaking open the pill may cause too much of it to be released at one time.

Pseudoephedrine should be avoided if you suffer from the following conditions:

Pseudoephedrine should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems

What drug interactions could you experience?

As a rule, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take to ensure you don’t suffer the effects of adverse drug interactions.

What are pseudoephedrine’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Dryness in the mouth, nose and throat
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pounding heart

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or the ambulance immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in August 2015