What Is Pseudoephedrine?


Quick Answer

Pseudoephedrine relieves congestion caused by sinusitis, the common cold, hay fever and respiratory allergies, states Mayo Clinic. It is available in both prescription and over-the-counter preparations. Pseudoephedrine is available in many forms such as syrup, tablet, capsule and suspension.

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Full Answer

Over-the-counter pseudoephedrine is not safe for babies and children under 4 years of age, warns Mayo Clinic. Allergic reactions are possible with this medicine, and it may negatively interact to drugs such as tranylcypromine, linezolid, furazolidone, nialamide and procarbazine. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes mellitus may experience an increase in blood glucose levels, and pseudoephedrine may worsen high blood pressure and overactive thyroid conditions. Individuals with an enlarged prostate, heart disease, blood vessel disease and glaucoma should consult a doctor before using pseudoephedrine. A doctor should also be consulted if symptoms do not improve within seven days of taking pseudoephedrine.

Extended-release pseudoephedrine capsules are taken whole or mixed with jelly or jam if the capsule is difficult to swallow, notes Mayo Clinic. Extended-release tablets are also taken whole without crushing or breaking. Dosage depends on the strength of the medicine and a doctor’s direction. Missed doses are taken as soon as possible or skipped if the next dosing time is close. Pseudoephedrine is stored at room temperature away from direct light, heat and moisture.

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