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Pseudoephedrine Side Effects, Warning, Interactions, Overdose & Connection To Meth

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Pseudoephedrine is a drug with a long history of medical use. It helps treat common cold and flu symptoms, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis. Due to its easier availability, it is sometimes used as a substitute for amphetamine or methamphetamine. Continue to read more about pseudoephedrine side effects and its link to meth.

By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: April 26, 2023

Pseudoephedrine Side Effects Overview

Pseudoephedrine is a medication used as a decongestant to alleviate nasal congestion resulting from colds, allergies, and other respiratory conditions. Pseudoephedrine is generally safe when used as directed. However, it can be hazardous if misused or overused. Moreover, pseudoephedrine has been regulated and scrutinized due to its potential misuse and abuse in producing methamphetamine, a highly addictive and illegal drug. Methamphetamine can be made using pseudoephedrine extracted from over-the-counter cold and allergy medications.

As a result, many countries and states have formulated restrictions on the sale and distribution of pseudoephedrine. In the United States, for example, the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 directed retailers to keep pseudoephedrine products behind the counter and limit the amount a customer can purchase in a single transaction. Some states have also introduced additional restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine.

What is Pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine relieves nasal congestion caused by allergies, colds, and hay fever. It is also used to relieve sinus congestion and pressure temporarily. Pseudoephedrine will reduce symptoms but will not treat the cause of the symptoms or speed recovery [1]. It is in a class of medications called nasal decongestants.

Thus, it works by causing the narrowing of the blood vessels in the nasal passages. It is found in many over-the-counter medications, such as Sudafed, Allegra-D, Sinutab, and Claritin-D. Pseudoephedrine is a substance that is naturally found in the plant Ephedra sinica. The substance is chemically related to amphetamine and is often used in the illicit production of the central nervous system stimulant methamphetamine (crystal meth).

According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) [2], Pseudoephedrine products that are solid-dosed and starched-based tablets are Schedule V if they can also be purchased over the counter (OTC) by a customer without a prescription. If no prescription is required and a customer can buy it and sign the log, it is Schedule 5. These products can only be prescribed with a BNDD (Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) and DEA numbers.

Pseudoephedrine has also been used to enhance athletic performance and may be banned by many professional associations. In addition, because it has been recognized as an ingredient used in the illegal production of methcathinone (a chemical often used in the production of bath salts) and methamphetamine, this drug is subject to monitoring by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Despite this, it is not listed as a controlled substance.

One of the significant concerns regarding the abuse of pseudoephedrine is the ease of manufacturing it into more powerful stimulants such as methamphetamine. In addition, federal law limits the amount of pseudoephedrine anyone can buy at once. It also requires that purchasers produce a photo ID and that retailers keep records of this drug’s sales for at least two years. Regardless, individuals who previously abused this drug may be more likely to experiment with other medications to find a similar high instead of giving up the substance abuse altogether.

How Long Does Pseudoephedrine Stay in Your System?

Pseudoephedrine is not typically included in standard drug tests, but it may be detected in specialized tests designed to detect specific drugs or drug classes.

How long does pseudoephedrine stay in your system drug test? The time that pseudoephedrine stays in your system can vary based on various factors, including age, weight, metabolism, and other factors. Generally, the half-life of pseudoephedrine is approximately 4 to 6 hours, meaning that it takes this quantity of time for half of the medicine to be eliminated from your body.

Pseudoephedrine can typically be detected in urine drug tests up to 24-48 hours after ingestion. However, it may be detectable longer in chronic or heavy users, particularly those who take large doses or have impaired liver or kidney function.

How Long Does It Take Pseudoephedrine To Work?

Pseudoephedrine is considered safe and effective for battling nasal congestion when used as intended. It can reduce symptoms associated with mucus buildup and swollen nasal passages, such as difficulty breathing and pain. The medication works by shrinking the swollen tissue of the nasal passageway and allowing mucus buildup to drain out.

How long does pseudoephedrine last? Pseudoephedrine comes as a regular pill/tablet, a 12-hr. extended-release (long-acting) tablet, a 24-hr. extended-release pill, and a solution (liquid) to be orally taken. The regular pills and liquid are generally taken every 4 to 6 hours. The 12-hr. extended-release pills are usually taken every 12 hours; you should take at least two doses in 24 hours. Extended-release tablets are generally taken once a day, and you should take at most one amount in 24 hours.

Is Pseudoephedrine Addictive?

Pseudoephedrine can be misused as an ingredient for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamines. However, it does carry some risks of abuse on its own. Although many people only use it for medicinal purposes, some have misused and abused pseudoephedrine. Many individuals intentionally take an excessive amount of these drugs to achieve a high, similar to other stimulants like meth or cocaine.

It will cause a sudden rush of energy, excitability, and hyperactivity in large doses. On the downside, pseudoephedrine addiction can cause a fast heartbeat and high blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular issues. The effects of pseudoephedrine side effects and abuse can be very harsh, so individuals must undergo a prescription drug rehab program to get medical assistance during withdrawal.

Pseudoephedrine is not a very addictive substance. However, when the medication is misused, addiction becomes a concern. Those who use this medication only for its intended indication at the labeled dosage should not worry about developing an addiction. As with most other addictive substances, pseudoephedrine targets the brain’s reward system by overloading it with dopamine.

The overstimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviors, produces the euphoric effects people desire and encourages them to repeat the behavior. When people get enough of the drug, they can use it to experience its stimulant-like effects.

Abusers of pseudoephedrine report that they experience:

  • Increased feelings of energy and alertness.
  • Extreme euphoria and well-being.
  • A pleasant tingling sensation over their bodies.

These pseudoephedrine side effects do not happen at the recommended therapeutic levels of the drug. Still, they can only occur when someone uses significant amounts of the drug, snorts it, or combines it in liquid and inject it. 

Pseudoephedrine Overdose

Individuals who intentionally consume more than the recommended amount of pseudoephedrine may be at risk for overdose. 

Severe damaging reactions and overdoses include:

  • Dilated pupils.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Hypertension.
  • Heart arrhythmias.
  • Seizures.
  • Skin reactions.

Individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, hyperthyroidism, or who are pregnant should not use medications with pseudoephedrine.

Methamphetamine or crystal meth is a glass-like substance that is smoked but may also be injected or snorted. It is a stimulant drug that increases energy, lifts mood and makes users more alert. It is highly addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, depression, and nervousness. For those curious about how meth is made, this process is prohibited and is typically performed within criminal organizations. The distribution of methamphetamine is also unlawful. Meth is a highly addictive and harmful drug.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [3], meth can be easily made in small clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter (OTC) ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medications. There are a few unique ingredients required and a few technical skills needed. Once the manufacturing process is complete, people have a cheap and powerful drug. However, the chemicals used for meth production are dangerous and toxic and can harm individuals near the production area and the environment.

Illegally produced pseudoephedrine to meth is typically made by mixing ephedrine with other chemicals that are usually poisonous or highly flammable. The mixture is then combined with a gasoline solvent and heated to crystallize. Because illegal crystal meth production is not supervised or regulated, and there’s no quality control for the pseudoephedrine in meth, many harmful cutting agents could be added to dilute the drug.

It has become much more difficult to buy enough pseudoephedrine to make meth. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 banned over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and limited sales to behind-the-counter. Furthermore, it limited the amount of pseudoephedrine a person could purchase each month. Retailers like drug stores must check buyers’ identification and keep personal information about them for two years.

Pseudoephedrine side effects and a history of drug abuse potential with its link to meth are serious concerns. To combat the production of illegal methamphetamine, many countries have implemented laws and regulations to limit the sale and distribution of pseudoephedrine-containing products.
Pseudoephedrine side effects and a history of drug abuse potential with its link to meth are serious concerns. To combat the production of illegal methamphetamine, many countries have implemented laws and regulations to limit the sale and distribution of pseudoephedrine-containing products.

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Pseudoephedrine Medicine Facts

Pseudoephedrine Brand Name: Elixsure Decongestant, Sudafed Pseudoephedrine, Chlor Trimeton Nasal Decongestant, Drixoral Decongestant Non-Drowsy Contac Cold, Nasofed, Entex, Genaphed, Kid Kare Drops, Sudafed 24-Hour, Seudotabs, Silfedrine, Pseudoephedrine Sudafed 12-Hour, Sudodrin, SudoGest, SudoGest 12 Hour, Unifed, Suphedrin, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Congestion.

  • Pseudoephedrine Pronunciation: SOO-doe-ee-FED-rin
  • Pseudoephedrine Drug Classification: Nasal Decongestants
  • Pseudoephedrine Drug Schedule: Schedule V

What Does Pseudoephedrine Do?

Pseudoephedrine decongestant is commonly used to alleviate nasal congestion from allergies or the common cold. It compresses blood vessels in the nasal passages, reducing swelling and inflammation and allowing for easier breathing.

Pseudoephedrine is also used to relieve sinus pressure, ear congestion, and other symptoms associated with allergies or respiratory infections. It is available over the counter in many countries, although it is regulated in some places due to its potential use in the production of methamphetamine.

Pseudoephedrine side effects are increased blood pressure, restlessness, and insomnia. It should not be used by individuals with high blood pressure or certain other health conditions without consulting a healthcare provider.
Pseudoephedrine side effects are increased blood pressure, restlessness, and insomnia. It should not be used by individuals with high blood pressure or certain other health conditions without consulting a healthcare provider.

What is in Pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine is a medication that belongs to the class of drugs called sympathomimetic amines. It is derived from ephedrine, which is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the plant Ephedra sinica.

Pseudoephedrine Mechanism of Action

How does pseudoephedrine work? The mechanism of action of pseudoephedrine and its ability to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system acts as a direct and indirect agonist of adrenergic receptors located on blood vessels in the nasal passages. When pseudoephedrine binds to these receptors, it causes the blood vessels to compress, lessening inflammation and congestion in the nasal passages. This allows for easier breathing and relief of symptoms associated with colds, allergies, and other respiratory conditions.

Pseudoephedrine Drug Test

Will pseudoephedrine show up on a drug test? Pseudoephedrine can potentially cause a positive result on a drug test, although it depends on the type of test being used and the detection threshold for the drug. Pseudoephedrine is chemically similar to other compounds commonly used as illicit drugs, such as amphetamines and methamphetamine. As a result, some drug tests may cross-react with pseudoephedrine and produce a false positive result.

Pseudoephedrine Warnings

Pseudoephedrine is generally safe when taken as directed, but several essential warnings and precautions should be considered before using this medication:

  • Pseudoephedrine side effects can increase blood pressure and heart rate and may cause arrhythmias in individuals with preexisting cardiovascular conditions.
  • Pseudoephedrine side effects can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, beta-blockers, and blood thinners. It is crucial to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are taking before using pseudoephedrine.
  • Pseudoephedrine HCi should not be used with other decongestants, such as phenylephrine or oxymetazoline, as this can increase the risk of unwanted effects such as high blood pressure and anxiety.
  • Pseudoephedrine side effects include nervousness, insomnia, and tremors, especially when taken in high doses or for prolonged periods.
  • Pseudoephedrine can be misused or abused for its stimulant effects and is a regulated substance in some countries due to its potential use in the production of methamphetamine.
  • Can you take pseudoephedrine while pregnant? Pseudoephedrine when breastfeeding is not advised. It should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy, as pseudoephedrine pregnancy safety has not been established.

Pseudoephedrine Breastfeeding

Pseudoephedrine in breastfeeding is not recommended, as it can be released into breast milk and may affect the nursing infant. Pseudoephedrine side effects can decrease milk supply in some women and cause irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances in nursing infants.

Suppose you take pseudoephedrine for breastfeeding. In that case, it is recommended to use the lowest sufficient dosage for the shortest possible duration and closely monitor your baby for any signs of breastfeeding pseudoephedrine side effects. If you notice any unwanted symptoms in your baby, such as changes in feeding, sleep patterns, or behavior, you must contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Pseudoephedrine Interactions

Pseudoephedrine can interact with certain medications and may increase the risk of side effects or reduce the effectiveness of other drugs. Some everyday pseudoephedrine drug interactions include the following:

  • Antidepressants: Pseudoephedrine can interact with some antidepressants, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), increasing the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Beta Blockers: Pseudoephedrine side effects can reduce the effectiveness of beta blockers, commonly used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Blood Thinners: Pseudoephedrine side effects can interact with blood thinners such as warfarin and may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising.
  • Other Decongestants: Pseudoephedrine combined with other decongestants, such as phenylephrine or oxymetazoline, can increase the risk of unwanted effects like high blood pressure and anxiety.
  • Other Medications: Pseudoephedrine side effects can interact with many different medications, including asthma medications, thyroid medications, and diuretics.

Ibuprofen and Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine and ibuprofen can be taken together in most cases. Still, following the recommended dosages and consulting with a doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications is crucial.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) generally used to relieve pain, fever, and inflammation. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant to relieve nasal and sinus congestion associated with allergies or the common cold. Taking “ibuprofen pseudoephedrine” medications can help treat cold or flu symptoms, such as nasal congestion, headache, and fever. However, ibuprofen may reduce the effectiveness of pseudoephedrine in some individuals and increase the risk of unwanted effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding or kidney damage.

Suppose you are taking both Advil cold and sinus pseudoephedrine. In that case, using them at the lowest effective doses for the shortest possible duration is recommended, and avoiding taking them together on an empty stomach, as this can increase the risk of stomach irritation or bleeding.

Pseudoephedrine and Phenylephrine

Phenylephrine vs pseudoephedrine is often searched. These two decongestants treat nasal and sinus congestion caused by allergies or the common cold. While pseudoephedrine vs phenylephrine has similar effects, there are some differences between the two medications.

Pseudoephedrine is a more potent decongestant than phenylephrine and is available in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) formulations. It compresses blood vessels in the nasal passages, reducing swelling and congestion. However, pseudoephedrine has a higher risk of side effects, such as increased nervousness, blood pressure, and insomnia.

Pseudoephedrine and Alcohol

It is generally not advised to drink alcohol while taking pseudoephedrine as it can heighten the risk of adverse effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired judgment. Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant that can increase alertness and make it difficult to fall asleep. At the same time, alcohol is a depressant that can make you feel drowsy and impair your ability to think clearly.

Drinking alcohol while taking pseudoephedrine can also increase the risk of other side effects, such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and nausea. In some cases, combining alcohol and pseudoephedrine can lead to severe health problems, such as cardiovascular events or liver damage.

Mucinex with Pseudoephedrine

Mucinex is a brand-name medication with the active ingredient guaifenesin, an expectorant that helps to thin and loosen mucus in the nasal airways, making it easier to cough. Some formulations of Mucinex also contain pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that alleviates nasal and sinus congestion. Guaifenesin pseudoephedrine can help treat cold or flu symptoms, such as cough, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure. However, pseudoephedrine can increase blood pressure and heart rate and may cause other pseudoephedrine side effects such as nervousness, dizziness, or insomnia.

Guaifenesin and Pseudoephedrine

Guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine can effectively treat cold or flu symptoms, such as cough, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure, when used together. However, pseudoephedrine can increase blood pressure and heart rate and may cause other side effects such as nervousness, dizziness, or insomnia.

Pseudoephedrine Laws by State 2022

Is pseudoephedrine safe? How much pseudoephedrine can I buy? Each state regulates the sale of each pseudoephedrine, generally limiting it to three bottles or packs each 90 days. Further restrictions apply to the number of capsules and gel packets separately wrapped and counted. This does not mean that over-the-counter medications are prohibited for persons with pseudoephedrine, only that their purchase is restricted.

If you’re searching for a decongestant without pseudoephedrine, consult your doctor for non-addictive alternatives.

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Pseudoephedrine Abuse Statistics

Pseudoephedrine is a medication commonly used to treat nasal congestion. However, it can also manufacture methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant drug. Because of this, pseudoephedrine is a controlled substance in many countries, including the United States.

1.7 Million

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2019, approximately 1.7 million people in the US reported using methamphetamine in the past year.

Source: SAMHSA


In 2018, the National Forensic Laboratory Information System reported that pseudoephedrine was found in 1,684 drug seizures in the US.

Source: NFLIS

353 000

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 353 000 people in the US ages 12 years or older abuse methamphetamine annually.

Source: NCBI

Pseudoephedrine Dosage

The recommended pseudoephedrine dosage can vary based on the individual’s age, medical condition, and the specific formulation of the medication. Following the dosing instructions on the product label or as directed by a healthcare provider or pharmacist is crucial.

Generally, the maximum daily dose of pseudoephedrine for adults is 240 mg, divided into doses of no more than 60 mg every 4-6 hours as needed for nasal congestion or sinus pressure.

In many countries, pseudoephedrine 60 mg over the counter strength is available. However, the availability and regulations surrounding pseudoephedrine may vary depending on the country and local laws.

As always, reading and following the dosage instructions provided on the packaging or by your healthcare provider is crucial. Too much pseudoephedrine can lead to potentially serious side effects, such as high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and nervousness.

Even pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 30mg or pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 30 mg dosage is a decongestant medication that can increase blood pressure and heart rate, so it should be used carefully in people with hypertension or cardiovascular disease. Moreover, pseudoephedrine can cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, nervousness, and insomnia.

Always follow the pseudoephedrine HCl 30 mg directions provided by your healthcare provider or on the medication’s label. If you have concerns about taking pseudoephedrine 30 mg dosage or experiencing any unusual symptoms, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

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Brompheniramine/Pseudoephedrine/Dextro HBR Syrup Side Effects

Brompheniramine pseudoephedrine dextromethorphan is a combination medication. Bromphen pseudoephedrine HCl dextromethorphan HBr is commonly used to treat symptoms associated with colds, allergies, and respiratory infections. Brompheniramine is an antihistamine that works by blocking the effects of histamine, a natural substance that causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant, reducing swelling and nasal congestion. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that functions by decreasing the activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing.

Brompheniramine-pseudoephedrine-DM can relieve multiple cold and allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes. Following the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on the packaging is crucial, as taking too much of any bromphenir pseudoephedrine ingredient can cause unwanted side effects. Common side effects of brompheniramine-pseudoephedrine-dextromethorphan may include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, and constipation. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any severe or persistent pseudoephedrine bromphen side effects or are concerned about taking this medication.

Brompheniramine/pseudoephedrine/dextromethorphan HBr syrup and brompheniramine pseudoephedrine DM syrup is a combination medication used to treat symptoms of colds, allergies, and respiratory infections. Other common brompheniramine pseudoephedrine dextro HBr syrup side effects can include the following:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dry mouth or throat.
  • Constipation.
  • Headache or blurred vision.
  • Nervousness or restlessness.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Less common but more severe brompheniramine / pseudoephedrine / dextromethorphan side effects may include allergic reactions, difficulty urinating or worsening of certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease. You must find medical attention as soon as possible if you experience severe or concerning side effects while taking this medication.

Pseudoephedrine Side Effects Long Term

It is generally safe and well-tolerated when taken as directed and for short periods. However, some potential pseudoephedrine side effects long-term are associated with the prolonged use of pseudoephedrine. Also, combining pseudoephedrine with other sympathomimetic drugs and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO) should be avoided. MAOIs were the first class of antidepressants to be developed. Combining MAO inhibitors and this medication can cause an acute hypertensive episode and bradycardia (slower than average heart rate). Examples of MAO are Azilect, Eldepryl, and Marplan. Combination with caffeine in many OTC medications, dietary supplements, and energy drinks may cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and increased body temperature.

Side effects from typical pseudoephedrine misuse and abuse can also include the following:

  • Urinary retention.
  • Insomnia.
  • Nervousness or anxiety.
  • Dizziness.
  • Excitability.
  • Irritability.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Weight loss.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Tolerance.
  • Dependence.
  • Addiction.

Let’s face it; medicinal products are not always used as intended. Pseudoephedrine, because of its properties including increased muscle contractility, increased blood flow to skeletal muscles, stimulation of glycogenesis, increased cardiac tropisms, bronchodilatation, activation of the central nervous system, suppression of appetite, is also used as a slimming agent and in sport, as an ergogenic agent, improving efficiency, allowing for faster regeneration and better performance.

The influence of the side effect of pseudoephedrine on sporting performance has long been debated, and observations do not always confirm this effect; however, it is on the list of substances prohibited for use by athletes during competitions. Due to its wide availability, it is considered an anti-doping rule violation when its concentration in urine exceeds 150 μg/mL. This list is a mandatory international standard and is updated annually by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), part of the World Anti-Doping Program [4].

Moreover, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [5], pseudoephedrine side effects urination may also be responsible for a false-positive urine test for amphetamine and methamphetamine. The structural similarity to these drugs means they may cross-react in difficulty using the immunological method.

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Treatment for Pseudoephedrine Addiction

No formal withdrawal management protocol is linked with recovery from the side effects of taking too much pseudoephedrine and pseudoephedrine abuse. However, physicians could give medications specifically designed to treat the pseudoephedrine hydrochloride side effects/pseudoephedrine HCl side effects the person is experiencing, such as depression or lethargy.

Medically-Assisted Detox for Pseudoephedrine Side Effects

A medically-assisted detox program is the first step to a successful recovery for many. There are different stages to detox, and the length depends on specific needs. However, the average detox time is about one week. Medical professionals will be by you throughout your pseudoephedrine abuse withdrawal process to ensure safety and comfort. Under no circumstances that drug detox should be attempted at home. Withdrawal symptoms and duration differ from person to person, but they can be uncomfortable and life-threatening. It mainly depends on the user’s dose and the length of misuse and abuse.

The body withdraws from pseudoephedrine during the acute stage. Medical supervision is necessary and helpful to make sure the body’s reaction to the withdrawal is well managed. Typical withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headache, or aches like flu symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can counteract the worst symptoms of acute detox to avoid needless suffering.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Pseudoephedrine Side Effects (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treating pseudoephedrine addiction or other substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each client’s needs.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including living a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:

  • Improve the client’s survival.
  • Increase retention in treatment.
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders.
  • Increase the client’s ability to gain and maintain employment.

Psychotherapies for Pseudoephedrine Side Effects

Treatment for pseudoephedrine abuse needs a combination of therapies and services, including treatment for trauma experiences, mental health conditions, particularly depression and anxiety, and physical health. Effective clinical interventions for people struggling with pseudoephedrine abuse focus on timely access to structured treatment and incentive-based therapies. Proven treatment interventions include the following:

Motivational Interviewing

  • It is a counseling style that helps individuals overcome ambivalence and enhances motivation to change pseudoephedrine addiction and other substance use behaviors.

Contingency Management

  • This type of behavioral therapy uses positive reinforcements to encourage desired behaviors.

Community Reinforcement Approach

  • This treatment approach identifies behaviors that reinforce stimulant use and makes a substance-free lifestyle more rewarding than one that includes drugs and alcohol.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

  • It is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that assists individuals in understanding their current problems, challenges, and experiences to change their behaviors and patterns of thinking.

Find the Right Pseudoephedrine Abuse Treatment at We Level Up New Jersey

Someone who has become dependent on or addicted to over-the-counter medicines like pseudoephedrine should seek professional assistance. During your pseudoephedrine addiction rehabilitation, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction.

We Level Up NJ provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our medically-assisted detox program. So, reclaim your life. Call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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One of the most effective treatments for pseudoephedrine side effects and addiction is behavioral therapy, which can help individuals identify and change problematic patterns of behavior related to drug use.

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Top 10 What Does Pseudoephedrine Do? FAQs

  1. Does pseudoephedrine make you sleepy?

    Does pseudoephedrine keep you awake? Yes, pseudoephedrine can have stimulating effects and may cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia in some people. Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic drug that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, causing heightened heart rate and blood pressure, among other effects. This stimulation can also lead to a feeling of alertness and wakefulness. Nevertheless, in some cases, pseudoephedrine side effects insomnia occur as well.

  2. How much pseudoephedrine can I take?

    The recommended dose of pseudoephedrine can vary depending on factors such as age, weight, and the medical condition being treated. It is essential to follow the guidance on the product label or as directed by your healthcare provider. In the United States, pseudoephedrine dose for stimulants is regulated due to its potential for misuse and can only be sold behind the pharmacy counter or by prescription. There are limitations on how much pseudoephedrine can be purchased in a given period.

  3. What is a pseudoephedrine?

    What pseudoephedrine can do? Pseudoephedrine used for nasal congestion treatment due to allergies or the common cold. It works by restricting the blood vessels in our nasal passages, which can help to reduce swelling and congestion.

  4. Is pseudoephedrine an antihistamine?

    No, pseudoephedrine is not an antihistamine. Pseudoephedrine does not block the action of histamine, which is the leading cause of allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Antihistamines, meanwhile, function by blocking the action of histamine in our body, which can aid in relieving allergy symptoms. Many types of antihistamines are available, both over-the-counter and by prescription. However, some medications may contain pseudoephedrine and an antihistamine, such as loratadine pseudoephedrine sulfate (others also search the use of cetirizine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride.) These combination products can effectively treat multiple symptoms. Still, reading the product label carefully and following the recommended dosages is crucial to avoid “cetirizine / pseudoephedrine side effects.” Cetirizine pseudoephedrine side effects can cause severe allergic reactions, such as hives or difficulty breathing, seizures, chest pain or heart palpitations, difficulty with vision or blurred vision, confusion, or hallucinations.

  5. Can I take pseudoephedrine with DayQuil?

    While it is generally safe to take pseudoephedrine tablets with other medications, including DayQuil, it is necessary to be cautious and follow the recommended dosages. Pseudoephedrine is a potent decongestant, and combining it with other medicines that contain decongestants can increase the risk of pseudoephedrine side effects such as increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, and nervousness.

  6. What is pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 120 mg used for?

    Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride extended release 120 mg is a medication used to relieve nasal congestion due to allergies or the common cold. It is an oral medication that contains pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. This sympathomimetic drug works by narrowing the blood vessels found in the nasal passages, which can support reducing swelling and congestion.

  7. How long does it take for pseudoephedrine to work?

    How long does pseudoephedrine take to work? The onset of action for pseudoephedrine can vary depending on the formulation and individual response. Generally, immediate-release formulations of pseudoephedrine can start working within 15-30 minutes of taking the medication, while extended-release formulations may take longer, up to 2 hours, to begin working.

  8. Are there available pseudoephedrine OTC?

    Some pseudoephedrine formulations are available over the counter (OTC) in many countries, including the United States. However, these formulations are often regulated due to issues about the potential for substance abuse of the medication. CVS pseudoephedrine (pseudoephedrine CVS), pseudoephedrine Walgreens, Walgreens pseudoephedrine, and pseudoephedrine Walmart are available. However, these products are often regulated due to concerns about the potential for addiction to the medication.

  9. What’s the use of brompheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine?

    Bromphen/pseudoephedrine HCl/dextromethorphan HBr is a combination medication used to treat symptoms of the common cold, flu, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. It contains active brompheniramine dextromethorphan pseudoephedrine ingredients.

  10. What medicine has the most pseudoephedrine?

    The maximum pseudoephedrine in a single dose or 24 hours is 240 milligrams (mg). However, the specific amount of pseudoephedrine in any given medication can vary depending on the formulation.

Prescription Drug Abuse & Prescription Medication Addiction Recovery & Sobriety Story

Prescription drug abuse, such as pseudoephedrine abuse, is using prescription medications in a manner other than prescribed or intended, typically for non-medical reasons such as to get high or to cope with stress or emotional problems. This can include taking more medication than prescribed, someone else’s prescription, or crushing or snorting pills to increase their effects.

Pseudoephedrine misuse can have severe consequences, including side effects of pseudoephedrine sulfate, addiction, overdose, and death. Long-term use of pseudoephedrine can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which can be challenging to manage without professional help. Moreover, prescription drug abuse can lead to social, legal, and financial problems and adverse physical and mental health effects.

Furthermore, common pseudoephedrine triprolidine side effects may include nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Triprolidine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, and blurred vision. Depending on the individual and the dose, these medications can cause various side effects. Pseudoephedrine / triprolidine side effects may include stomach upset, headache, sweating, and difficulty urinating; the same goes for fexofenadine pseudoephedrine side effects.

You see, misusing such types of medications has more risks than benefits. But this is not a hopeless situation. Watch the video below of Jen’s addiction recovery testimonials battling prescription drug abuse.

Jen’s Addiction Recovery Testimonial

“I wanted my life back. I was a shell of a person. I wanted to be trusted, and I wanted the relationships back that I lost, mainly my children and family.

It started innocent enough, I got into a car accident, and then I got kind of sucked into the whole, you know, medication issue with the pills. And before I knew it, I was in a cloud.

I was sucked in by addiction, and with my mind, I kept thinking it was OK because a doctor was prescribing this for me, a doctor was giving me this, a doctor was giving me that. So, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.

Level Up supports my family and my relationships with my family, and they’ve helped me grow as a person.

When I first started there, I was so intimidated and kind of scared, you know? But, they’ve taught me, they’ve kind of taught me how to come into my own.

And then, you know, when I get the call from my twenty-one-year-old daughter in the middle of the day, just to say ‘I love you, Mom.’ that’s amazing.”

YouTube video
When someone overcomes addiction, they regain their physical health but also their mental and emotional well-being, relationships with loved ones, and sense of purpose in life.

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Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

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Search We Level Up NJ Pseudoephedrine Side Effects Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1] Pseudoephedrine – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

[2] Law Regarding Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

[3] How is methamphetamine manufactured? – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

[4-5] Głowacka K, Wiela-Hojeńska A. Pseudoephedrine-Benefits and Risks. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 13;22(10):5146. DOI: 10.3390/ijms22105146. PMID: 34067981; PMCID: PMC8152226.

[6] Yasaei R, Saadabadi A. Methamphetamine. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

[7] Richards JR, Laurin EG. Methamphetamine Toxicity. [Updated 2023 Jan 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

[8] McHugh RK, Nielsen S, Weiss RD. Prescription drug abuse: from epidemiology to public policy. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2015 Jan;48(1):1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Aug 28. PMID: 25239857; PMCID: PMC4250400.

[9] Nonnemaker J, Engelen M, Shive D. Are methamphetamine precursor control laws effective in fighting the methamphetamine epidemic? Health Econ. 2011 May;20(5):519-31. DOI: 10.1002/hec.1610. PMID: 21433216.

[10] Brzeczko AW, Leech R, Stark JG. The advent of a new pseudoephedrine product to combat methamphetamine abuse. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2013 Sep;39(5):284-90. DOI: 10.3109/00952990.2013.821476. Erratum in: Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Jan;40(1):82. PMID: 23968171; PMCID: PMC3793278.