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Before You Buy Sudafed


Updated May 16, 2014

Sudafed is a nasal decongestant available to treat congestion. It is now located behind the counter because it was being widely abused as a raw ingredient in methamphetamines.

Sudafed nasal decongestant is still available without a prescription, you simply have to ask the pharmacist, show a picture ID and sign for the medication when purchasing it. However, Sudafed now offers another option, Sudafed PE (which contains phenylephrine instead of pseudoephedrine), if you are unable to find original Sudafed nasal decongestant.

Active Ingredients in Sudafed Nasal Decongestant

In each caplet:
Pseudoephedrine HCl 30mg

Dosage and Directions

Adults and children over 12 years old:

  • 2 caplets every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 4 doses in 24 hours

Children ages 6 to 12 years old:

  • 1 caplet every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 4 doses in 24 hours

Children under 6 years should not take this product unless directed to do so by a doctor

Swallow whole, do not crush or chew.

Sudafed Uses

Helps relieve:

  • Sinus pressure from sinusitis
  • Nasal congestion from allergies, colds and other upper respiratory infections

Side Effects

Pseudoephedrine may cause:

  • Confusion or nervous feeling
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Sudafed Warnings

Do not use Sudafed if you are now taking a medication known as an MAOI or for two weeks after stopping an MAOI. If you are not sure, contact your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.

Keep out of reach of children.

In case of overdose, contact Poison Control or go to an Emergency Room immediately.

Ask a Doctor Before use if

  • You have Heart Disease
  • You have High Blood Pressure
  • You have Thyroid Disease
  • You have Diabetes
  • You have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostrate gland
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding

Stop use and ask a Doctor if

  • An allergic reaction occurs, seek medical attention immediately
  • You get nervous, dizzy or sleepless
  • You have nasal congestion that lasts more than 7 days or it is accompanied by a fever

More Information


"Products/Sudafed Nasal Decongestant." Sudafed & Sudafed PE. 2005. Pfizer Inc.. 22 Jan 2007.

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