Pseudoephedrine is part of a class of drugs called decongestants. Specifically, it works by stimulating certain receptors known as alpha-adrenergic receptors. In the lining of the nose and sinuses, this action causes the blood vessels to constrict, allowing less fluid to leave the blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. This helps to relieve nasal and sinus congestion.
General considerations include the following:
- This medication comes in several different forms, such as immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets, or a liquid. The instructions for use vary with each different product.
- Do not break, chew, cut, or crush extended-release tablets, as this will cause the medication to be released too quickly.
- You can take pseudoephedrine with food or on an empty stomach. If the medication seems to bother your stomach, try taking it with a little food.
- Because there are so many different pseudoephedrine products available, be sure to follow the instructions for your particular product.
- Some people find that pseudoephedrine interferes with their ability to fall asleep. If you experience this problem, try taking your last dose earlier in the day.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as directed.
The recommended dose of pseudoephedrine will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The particular product
- Your age
- Other medications you are taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Pseudoephedrine Dosage for more information.)