Pseudoephedrine Dosage & More

Pseudoephedrine is a nasal decongestant which is used in combination with other anti-histamines for providing a temporary relief from the symptoms caused by flu, common cold, allergies, sinusitis and bronchitis.

What Should A Normal Pseudoephedrine Dose Be?

The normal dose of pseudoephedrine can lessen the symptoms (fever, difficulty in breathing) caused by flu, sinusitis, allergies and common cold. It soothes the pain without eliminating the root cause. It can also be used to cure ear pain and ear blockade caused during air flights and deep sea diving.

Sometimes, even within the normal dosing range, pseudoephedrine can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, a feeling of restlessness and headache. Most of these side effects usually don’t need medical attention as they usually go away with regular usage of the drug. However, consulting a doctor may help you minimize these side effects. In some cases the side effects are serious and you need medical assistance. Such symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Insomnia.
  • Feeling of lightheadedness.
  • Palpitation of heart.

What If You Miss A Dose?

Unless recommended by a doctor, this drug is only used when the symptoms appear and is given up as soon as the symptoms withdraw. However, if your doctor recommends specific dosing schedule then you must follow your doctor’s prescription. Just in case you forget to take your daily dose of pseudoephedrine, you can take the dose as soon as you it. If it’s time for your next normal dose then skip the missed dose and continue with your normal drug schedule. There is no need to double the dose to make up for the missed one.

What If You Take An Overdose?

If you take a very high pseudoephedrine dose then you should consult your doctor. Following are some major symptoms seen in pseudoephedrine over dosage:

  • In very rare cases, over dosage can lead to convulsions.
  • A person might experience hallucinations.
  • There might be an extreme difficulty in breathing.
  • The high blood pressure may shoot way above normal.
  • Irregularity in heart beats.

How To Calculate The Correct Dosage Of Pseudoephedrine:

As far as normal pseudoephedrine dosage is concerned, the exact dosage is determined by a number of factors like:

  • Age of the patient as the dosage of pseudoephedrine is different for adult and pediatric uses.
  • The health of kidneys.
  • Interaction with other drugs.

You should always use this medicine after the recommendation of your doctor. If you’re doing self-medication then read the label of medicine before using it. In case no instructions are given regarding pseudoephedrine dosage, you must consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medicine is available in a variety of preparations:

  • Immediate release preparations (chewable tablets).
  • Sustained release capsules or tablets.
  • Sustained release suspensions.

Usual Dosage For Adults:

In case of adults, the normal dosing is as follows:

  • If an adult is using immediate release preparation then he/she must use 30 to 60 mg of this drug every 4 to 6 hours. This dosage should be continued till the symptoms go away or as long as is recommended by the doctor.
  • In case of sustained release preparations, use a maximum of 120 mg of pseudoephedrine every 12 hours till the symptoms lessen.
  • If you’re using sustained release suspension, you better use 45 to 100 mg of this drug orally every 12 hours.
  • The maximum dose, which you can consume without major side effects, is 240 mg/day.

Usual Pediatric Dosing:

Pseudoephedrine is usually not used for children below the age of 4 years because such children can’t tolerate the side effects of this drug, especially high blood pressure. So, don’t give pseudoephedrine containing cold syrups to very young kids. For kids always use cold syrups after the recommendation of your doctor.

For the children of age 4 or above, pseudoephedrine dosage is as follows:

  • For the children between 4 to 6 years of age, the usual dosing is 15 mg per 4 to 6 hours. The total daily dosage, in this case, should not exceed 60 mg in 24 hours.
  • For the children between 6 to 12 years you can use 30 to 60 mg of immediate release preparations every 4 to 6 hours. If you want to use sustained release suspensions then the dosing shouldn’t exceed 25 to 50 mg every 12 hours till the symptoms go away. The maximum daily dosing of pseudoephedrine shouldn’t exceed 120 mg/day.
  • Dosing is quite safe in the case of children that are above the age of 12 years. In this case, you can make use of 30 to 60 gm of immediate release preparations 4 to 6 hours or as recommended by the doctor. Or you can use sustained release preparations. Dosing in the case of sustained release preparations is set at 120 mg orally every 12 hours. The third options you’ve is to use sustained release suspensions. You can use 50 to 100 mg of these suspensions every 12 hours. The maximum daily dosage, however, shouldn’t exceed 240mg/day.

Dosing In Case Of Renal Failure:

Pseudoephedrine, once it makes way to the blood, is inactivated and is excreted through the kidneys. Renal (kidney) excretion is quite efficient and doesn’t allow a significant level of drug to accumulate in the blood-as far the dosing is within normal range. However, pseudoephedrine dosaghas to be re-calculated for people suffering from renal failure. In such individuals kidney function is impaired, so is the excretion of pseudoephedrine. Accumulation of unwanted metabolites can lead to significant toxicity. So, such patients are monitored for any signs of pseudoephedrine toxicity.

pseudoephedrine dosage

Dosing In Case Of Dialysis:

Since this drug is removed by kidney, normal pseudoephedrine dosage should be given following a dialysis session.


Pseudoephedrine is a drug used to ease nasal congestions and symptoms caused by flu and common cold etc. You should use the recommended pseudoephedrine dosage for the drug to produce its effects and to avoid any unnecessary side effects. In case you observe any side effects following self-administration, you should consult your doctor or physician.

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