Sudafed Side Effects, How to Take & What to Avoid

Sudafed is a medication that belongs to a group of medicines called decongestant. It is also known as Pseudoephedrine and is used to treat a stuffy nose temporarily. This medication is used for providing temporary relief from sinus pain that is often caused by viral infections such as common cold and flu and other breathing illnesses such as allergies, hay fever, etc.



This medication works by shrinking the blood vessels present in the nasal passageway. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion causing you to suffer from a stuffy nose, which is why this mediation helps as it shrinks these blood vessels and helps in reducing the swelling and the congestion.


Side Effects

Sudafed, like any other medication, also has some adverse side effects; however, these side effects are infrequent. Most of the people using this drug do not suffer from these side effects; however, if you notice any of these signs make sure to inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Minor Side Effects

Here are some minor side effects of the drug:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness or restlessness


Major Side Effects

This drug has some rare yet severe side effects; if you notice any of these symptoms make sure to inform your doctor.

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Tremor
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • An allergic reaction which includes
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Swelling of tongue, face, tongue
  • Severe dizziness
  • Troubled breathing

The list mentioned above does not list all of the possible side effects that one could face.

What is the most important information I should know about this medicine? Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).

How to use this medication?

Follow all the directions when taking this medication. This medication is to be taken orally; you can either take it with some food or can even take it without food. Take the tablet with a glass filled with water. It has to be taken after every 4 to 6 hours as directed by your doctor. You must not take more than four does per day. The dosage will depend on your condition and how well you are responding to the treatment as well. Do not increase or decrease the dosage unless you are told to do so.

For chewable tablets, make sure to chew the tablet thoroughly and then swallow. If you are using the liquid version of this drug, then make sure to take the correct dose, using a measuring device to get the exact amount. Caffeine, when taken along with this medication cans, increase the side effects of the medication. Therefore avoid drinking beverages which contain caffeine and avoid eating large amounts of chocolates as well.

Some precautions that you must take

Before taking this medication, you must be aware of certain things that you should avoid. Also, it is essential that you inform your doctor of your medical history and of any other health condition that you might suffer from. Therefore to ensure your safety and health do let you’re your doctor know if you suffer from any of the following conditions or if you are allergic to sympathomimetic or if you have any other allergies;

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart issues such as a heart attack etc
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Enlarged prostate


This drug can cause you to be dizzy hence why it is better to avoid alcohol and marijuana when taking this medication. Make sure you do not do certain activities that require you to remain alert when taking this medication such as driving etc. Limit your use of alcohol and marijuana. A lot of the times chewable tablets, liquid products, and even dissolving tablets tend to contain sugar and sometimes even alcohol. Therefore if you have diabetes, liver disease, Phenylketonuria or alcohol dependence, be careful when taking this medication.

Before you undergo any surgery make sure you inform your doctor that you are taking this pill.