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What is pseudoephedrine HCl?

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Quick Answer

Pseudoephedrine HCl is a decongestant used to treat nasal symptoms associated with allergies or the common cold, explains WebMD. It is sold under the brand names Afrin, Dimetapp, Drixoral and Sudafed. Common side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, dizziness and headache. It can also cause nervousness.

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Full Answer

Serious side effects associated with pseudoephedrine hcl include a fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness and anxiety, flu-like symptoms and very high blood pressure, according to Drugs.com. It can also cause easy bleeding or bruising and significant weakness. Patients are advised to contact a doctor and stop using the medication should these symptoms occur.

Pseudoephedrine HCl should not be taken by individuals taking MAO inhibitors, notes WebMD. Those with a history of diabetes, glaucoma, heart issues, kidney disease or overactive thyroid should also avoid the drug.

Pseudoephedrine HCl can interact with stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedra and dextroamphetamine, as well as bronchodialtors, such as albuterol, notes WebMD. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and methyldopa.

This medication is found in many combination products to treat colds or allergies, according to Drugs.com. Taking multiple decongestants can result in overdose. Checking drug ingredient labels for pseudoephedrine or decongestants can help prevent accidental overdose.

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