Pseudoephedrine, also known and sold under the trade names of:
12 Hour cold maximum strength
Chlor-Trimeton nasal decongestant
Efidac 24 pseudoephedrine
ElixSure congestion children
Pediacare decongestant infants
It is a product which belongs to the group of drugs known as decongestants.
It is used in order to relieve a stuffy nose and sinus pain/pressure, caused by an infection, e.g. the flu, or caused by other breathing illnesses, e.g. hay fever, allergies, or bronchitis.
It is considered to work by narrowing the blood vessels in order to decrease swelling and congestion.
This product is available in many forms – a tablet, capsule, a chewable tablet, solution, syrup, liquid, and a suspension.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential side effects and risks.
For the decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergies reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – Proper studies done have shown that there is an appearance of life-threatening side effects when this medication is used in pediatric patients. This medication is not recommended to be used in children younger than 4 years of age.
Geriatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in geriatric patients. This medication could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. This medication could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. Proper studies done have confirmed that this medication is extracted in the milk and that there is a minimal risk to the infant if this medication is used by nursing mothers. This medication could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur.
However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain type of a combination, including two or more medications to treat your condition, if he or she considers this combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medication is not recommended to be used in a combination with the specific type of food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment.
Avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine during the treatment with this medication. Proper studies done have confirmed that large amounts of caffeine increase the risk of potential side effects.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment.
Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – type 2 diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, enlarged prostate, heart or blood vessels problems, high blood pressure, or overactive thyroid.
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. If you are using this medication in the form of a tablet or a capsule, swallow the tablet or the capsule whole.
Do not crush, break or chew the tablet or the capsule. If you are using this medication in the form of a solution, it is very important to take the prescribed dose, using a proper measurement instrument.
The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your age, weight, condition and the prognosis of the treatment. The usual dose is one tablet/capsule every 12 or 24 hours.
In order to get the most beneficial effects from the use of this medication, it is important to use it regularly. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not double to catch up.
This medication is harmful in case of an overdose. If you suspect an overdose, inform the doctor right away.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly for your scheduled appointments, so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if needed.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present that would worsen your condition, or if your condition does not improve.
Inform the doctor about any allergies reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future.
The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy, and he or she may advise you to start using a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment.
Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the proper studies were done that confirm the risk to the infant when this medication is used.
This medication may cause dizziness to occur. Avoid driving, and any other activities that require alertness during the treatment.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which could occur. These side effects do not occur within all patients, also they could be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor right away.
Common side effects – nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, dizziness, headache, or nervousness may occur. These are serious side effects which are not considered as serious, however if their presence worsens or if they persist, inform the doctor right away.
Serious side effects – fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, mood changes, persistent abdominal/stomach pain, and difficulty urinating. These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor right away.
A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common, however if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
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