Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is a sympathomimetic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine chemical classes. It may be used as a nasal/sinus decongestant, as a stimulant, or as a wakefulness-promoting agent. in higher doses..
It was first characterized in 1889 by the German chemists Ladenburg and Oelschlägel, who used a sample that had been isolated from Ephedra vulgaris by the Merck pharmaceutical corporation of Darmstadt, Germany.. The salts pseudoephedrine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine sulfate are found in many over-the-counter preparations, either as a single ingredient or (more commonly) in a fixed-dose combination with one or more additional active ingredients such as antihistamines, guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, paracetamol (acetaminophen) or an NSAID (such as aspirin or ibuprofen).
Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant, but it is well known for shrinking swollen nasal mucous membranes, so it is often used as a decongestant. It reduces tissue hyperemia, edema, and nasal congestion commonly associated with colds or allergies. Other beneficial effects may include increasing the drainage of sinus secretions, and opening of obstructed Eustachian tubes. The same vasoconstriction action can also result in hypertension, which is a noted side effect of pseudoephedrine.
Pseudoephedrine can be used either as oral or as topical decongestant. However, due to its stimulating qualities, the oral preparation is more likely to cause adverse effects, including urinary retention... According to one study, pseudoephedrine may show effectiveness as an antitussive drug (suppression of cough)..
Pseudoephedrine is indicated for the treatment of nasal congestion, sinus congestion and Eustachian tube congestion..Pseudoephedrine is also indicated for vasomotor rhinitis, and as an adjunct to other agents in the optimum treatment of allergic rhinitis, croup, sinusitis, otitis media, and tracheobronchitis..
Pseudoephedrine is also used as a first-line prophylactic for recurrent priapism. Erection is largely a parasympathetic response, so the sympathetic action of pseudoephedrine may serve to relieve this condition. Treatment for urinary incontinence is an off-label use (“unlabeled use”) for these medications..
The antihypertensive effects of methyldopa, mecamylamine, reserpine and veratrum alkaloids may be reduced by sympathomimetics. Beta-adrenergic antagonists may also interact with sympathomimetics. Increase of ectopic pacemaker activity can occur when pseudoephedrine is used concomitantly with digitalis. Antacids increase the rate of pseudoephedrine absorption, while kaolin decreases it