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What Are the Most Common Pseudoephedrine Side Effects?

Pseudoephedrine, often found in cold medications, can cause side effects like insomnia, dizziness, and a rapid heartbeat. While it's effective for congestion relief, it's important to monitor your body's response. Have you experienced any unusual symptoms while taking pseudoephedrine? Share your story as we explore how to manage these effects for safer relief.
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

Pseudoephedrine is often used to relieve nasal congestion, but some patients notice side effects. For example, this sinus decongestant can make some patients feel sick, experiencing nausea, weakness and chills. Other common pseudoephedrine side effects include insomnia, restlessness and excessive sweating. While these symptoms are usually mild and are not considered serious, others require immediate medical attention. Heart palpitations, seizures and hallucinations are some symptoms that should be immediately reported to a doctor.

Few patients notice many pseudoephedrine side effects, and the ones who do tend only to feel the mild ones that do not need to be treated. For instance, some patients feel sicker than usual, and nausea, diarrhea or constipation may be a problem. It is not uncommon for some to feel tired, weak or shaky, and some people also get chills. Side effects sometimes also extend to the ears, and patients may notice a ringing noise related to tinnitus. Additionally, while this sinus decongestant is meant to clear the nasal passages, it may go too far in some cases, causing the throat, nose and mouth to feel dry.

Pseudoephedrine side effects may include excessive sweating.
Pseudoephedrine side effects may include excessive sweating.

Some pseudoephedrine side effects do not immediately appear to be associated with this drug, because they have little to do with the sinuses or general illness. For example, some patients feel excited or restless for no apparent reason, which in turn can cause insomnia despite the fatigue that many patients also feel. Some people seem to sweat more than usual and may find it difficult to urinate. Vertigo and loss of appetite round out the most common minor side effects of pseudophedrine. These symptoms should be mentioned to a doctor at the next appointment so a less bothersome drug can be recommended, but immediate medical treatment is not usually necessary.

Insomnia is one of the more common side effects of pseudoephedrine.
Insomnia is one of the more common side effects of pseudoephedrine.

On the other hand, some pseudoephedrine side effects do call for emergency care, because they can be life-threatening. For example, some patients notice heart palpitations, tightness in the chest or a heartbeat that is faster than usual. Low blood pressure is also a sign of a problem caused by pseudoephedrine, a problem also characterized by chest pain and dizziness. Some patients may become confused and could start hallucinating, while others are prone to seizures or changes in vision. Any of these side effects call for immediate medical attention so doctors can treat the symptoms and recommend a different drug for the affected patient to take.

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Discussion Comments

anon938331

Allegra stopped my chronic, lifelong diarrhea.

Markerrag

If pseudoephedrine makes you feel tired, take heart -- you do build up something of a resistance after a time. If this stuff is what you need to treat nasal congestion frequently (if you have allergies, for example), then you won't feel tired when you get used to it.

At least, that's how it seems to work for a lot of people.

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    • Pseudoephedrine side effects may include excessive sweating.
      By: Rido
      Pseudoephedrine side effects may include excessive sweating.
    • Insomnia is one of the more common side effects of pseudoephedrine.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Insomnia is one of the more common side effects of pseudoephedrine.
    • Diarrhea and constipation are possible side effects of pseudoephedrine.
      By: JPagetRFphotos
      Diarrhea and constipation are possible side effects of pseudoephedrine.
    • Nausea is a side effect of pseudoephedrine.
      By: Piotr Marcinski
      Nausea is a side effect of pseudoephedrine.
    • Seasonal allergies are often treated with medications that contain pseudoephedrine, but these over-the-counter drugs are tightly controlled in some areas.
      By: FedeCandoniPhoto
      Seasonal allergies are often treated with medications that contain pseudoephedrine, but these over-the-counter drugs are tightly controlled in some areas.
    • Pseudoephedrine can cause shakiness and chills.
      By: Peter Polak
      Pseudoephedrine can cause shakiness and chills.