Generic Name: pseudoephedrine (SOO doe ee FED rin)Brand Names: Chlor Trimeton Nasal Decongestant, Contac Cold, Drixoral Decongestant Non-Drowsy, Elixsure Decongestant, Entex, Genaphed, Kid Kare Drops, nasofed, Seudotabs, Silfedrine, Sudafed, Sudafed 12-Hour, Sudafed 24-Hour, Sudafed Children's Nasal Decongestant, Sudodrin, SudoGest, SudoGest 12 Hour, Suphedrin, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Congestion, Unifed
Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).
Pseudoephedrine is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, or congestion of the tubes that drain fluid from your inner ears, called the eustachian (yoo-STAY-shun) tubes.
Pseudoephedrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Unifed (pseudoephedrine)?Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains pseudoephedrine. Do not use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Unifed (pseudoephedrine)?Do not use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to pseudoephedrine or to other decongestants, diet pills, stimulants, or ADHD medications.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take pseudoephedrine if you have:
heart disease or high blood pressure;
a thyroid disorder.
Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Measure the liquid form of this medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cold medicine within the past few days.Store the medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Since cold medicine is usually taken only as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Symptoms of a pseudoephedrine overdose may include feeling restless or nervous.
Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice. Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Pseudoephedrine is contained in many over-the-counter medications. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains pseudoephedrine.
fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
mild loss of appetite;
warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
feeling excited or restless;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
skin rash or itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
medicines to treat high blood pressure;
a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), timolol (Blocadren), and others; or
antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with pseudoephedrine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.