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Pseudoephedrine

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Why is Pseudoephedrine prescribed?

Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal discomfort caused by colds, allergies, and hay fever. It is also used to relieve sinus congestion and pressure. Pseudoephedrine is in a class of medications called sympathomimetic agents that are used as nasal decongestants. It works by causing narrowing of the blood vessels of swollen nasal mucous membranes to reduce nasal congestion and allow drainage of sinus passages.

How should Pseudoephedrine be used?

Pseudoephedrine comes as a regular tablet, a chewable tablet, a 12-hour extended-release (long-acting) tablet, a 24-hour extended-release tablet, a solution (liquid), and a concentrated solution (drops). The regular tablets, chewable tablets, liquid, or drops usually are taken every 4ĘC6 hours, but you should not take more than 4 doses in a 24-hour period. The 12-hour extended-release tablets usually are taken every 12 hours, and you should not take more than 2 doses in a 24-hour period. The 24-hour extended-release tablets usually are taken once a day, and you should not take more than one dose in a 24-hour period. To help prevent trouble sleeping, take the last dose of the day several hours before bedtime. Follow the directions on the package label or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take pseudoephedrine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your symptoms should improve during your treatment. If your symptoms do not get better within 7 days or if you have a fever, stop taking pseudoephedrine and call your doctor.

Do not break, crush, or chew extended-release tablets; swallow them whole.

Do not give extended-release tablets to children younger than 12 years of age.

Other uses for Pseudoephedrine:

Pseudoephedrine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking pseudoephedrine,

tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to pseudoephedrine or any other medications.
do not take pseudoephedrine if you are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks. If you stop taking pseudoephedrine you should wait at least 2 weeks before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take, especially medications for diet or appetite control, asthma, or high blood pressure.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, difficulty urinating (due to an enlarged prostate gland), or thyroid, heart, or kidney disease. If you are taking pseudoephedrine 24-hour extended-release tablets, tell your doctor if you have had a narrowing or blockage of your digestive system.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking pseudoephedrine, call your doctor.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking pseudoephedrine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, and cola) may increase the restlessness and insomnia caused by pseudoephedrine in sensitive individuals, so you may wish to reduce your consumption of these beverages.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can Pseudoephedrinecause?

Pseudoephedrine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

restlessness
upset stomach
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

nervousness
dizziness
difficulty sleeping
stomach pain
vomiting
difficulty breathing
fast or irregular heartbeat
weakness
palpitations
shaking of a part of the body that you cannot control
seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist (hallucinating)
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?Return to top
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The chewable tablets and concentrated solution (drops) should be protected from light; store in the outer carton until the medication is used. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

If you are taking pseudoephedrine 24-hour extended-release tablets, you may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is just the empty tablet shell, and this does not mean that you did not get your complete dose of medication.

You should know that pseudoephedrine may in used in combination with other medications to treat colds, allergies, and sinus headaches. Be sure to read the information provided for the patient when taking combination products to be sure that you are not taking additional medications that contain the same ingredient.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about pseudoephedrine.