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Pseudoephedrine (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

soo-doe-e-FED-rin

Brand Names:

  • 12 Hour Cold Maximum Strength
  • Biofed
  • Cenafed
  • Chlor-Trimeton Nasal Decongestant
  • Contac 12-Hour
  • Dimetapp Decongestant
  • Efidac 24 Pseudoephedrine
  • ElixSure Congestion Children's
  • Genaphed
  • Pediacare Decongestant Infants
  • Simply Stuffy
  • Sudafed

Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule, Extended Release
  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Solution
  • Tablet, Extended Release
  • Syrup
  • Liquid
  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Suspension

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Decongestant

Pharmacologic—

Alpha-Adrenergic Agonist

Uses of This Medicine:

Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion caused by the common cold, sinusitis, and hay fever and other respiratory allergies. It is also used to relieve ear congestion caused by ear inflammation or infection.

Some of these preparations are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Do not give any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine to a baby or child under 4 years of age. Using these medicines in very young children might cause serious or possibly life-threatening side effects .

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Pseudoephedrine may be more likely to cause side effects in infants, especially newborn and premature infants, than in older children and adults.

Do not give any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine to a baby or child under 4 years of age. Using these medicines in very young children might cause serious or possibly life-threatening side effects .

Older adults—

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of pseudoephedrine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Breast-feeding—

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Clorgyline
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Guanethidine
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Methyldopa
  • Midodrine

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus—Use of pseudoephedrine may cause an increase in blood glucose levels
  • Enlarged prostate or
  • Glaucoma, or a predisposition to glaucoma or
  • Heart disease or blood vessel disease or
  • High blood pressure—Pseudoephedrine may make the condition worse
  • Overactive thyroid—Use of pseudoephedrine may make the condition worse

Proper Use of This Medicine:

For patients taking pseudoephedrine extended-release capsules:

  • Swallow the capsule whole. However, if the capsule is too large to swallow, you may mix the contents of the capsule with jam or jelly and swallow without chewing.
  • Do not crush or chew before swallowing.

For patients taking pseudoephedrine extended-release tablets:

  • Swallow the tablet whole.
  • Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.

To help prevent trouble in sleeping, take the last dose of pseudoephedrine for each day a few hours before bedtime. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Take this medicine only as directed. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer period of time than recommended on the label (usually 7 days), unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For nasal or sinus congestion:
    • For regular (short-acting) oral dosage form (capsules, oral solution, syrup, or tablets):
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—60 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours. Do not take more than 240 mg in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—30 mg every four to six hours. Do not take more than 120 mg in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—15 mg every four to six hours. Do not take more than 60 mg in twenty-four hours.
      • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
    • For long-acting oral dosage form (extended-release capsules or extended-release tablets):
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—120 mg every 12 hours, or 240 mg every 24 hours. Do not take more than 240 mg in 24 hours.
      • Infants and children up to 12 years of age—Use is not recommended .

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

If symptoms do not improve within 7 days or if you also have a high fever, check with your doctor since these signs may mean that you have other medical problems.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
(more common with high doses)
Convulsions (seizures)
hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
irregular or slow heartbeat
shortness of breath or troubled breathing
Symptoms of overdose
Convulsions (seizures)
fast breathing
hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
increase in blood pressure
irregular heartbeat (continuing)
shortness of breath or troubled breathing (severe or continuing)
slow or fast heartbeat (severe or continuing)
unusual nervousness, restlessness, or excitement

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Nervousness
restlessness
trouble in sleeping
Less common
Difficult or painful urination
dizziness or light-headedness
fast or pounding heartbeat
headache
increased sweating
nausea or vomiting
trembling
unusual paleness
weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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