Pseudoephedrine High – Symptoms, Risk, Overdose, Prevention

Pseudoephedrine is a mainstream drug whose purpose is to shrink the blood vessels that are present in the nasal passage. It is mostly used to cure intense cough and cold. So it is mainly used for stuffy nose that has closed nasal passage. It has also proved to give relief from allergies and other cold-related problems. Because of its various instant uses, it is one of the most popular drugs in this century. Being highly popular among teenagers & adults, this drug is quite addictive and an overdose of it can even lead to death. One of the reasons behind its popularity is that Pseudoephedrine is available in almost every local drug store. So the easiest way to clear your stuffy nose is by taking a proper dosage of this drug.

Pseudoephedrine High - Symptoms, Risk, Overdose, Prevention

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What are the Uses of Pseudoephedrine?

The common, or rather, the most important use of Pseudoephedrine is self-treating your cough and cold. It provides an instant relief. Sinus pressure or pain in the migraine caused due to the overdose of injections can be treated with Pseudoephedrine. Allergies, hay fever or bronchitis and different other breathing illnesses can be cured by this particular rug. As this drug is a sympathomimetic, it helps to narrow down the blood vessels present in the nasal passage, thereby reducing swelling of the passage & congestion.

In spite of having several benefits, this particular drug should be handled with care. This drug works well only on adults and teenagers. Never ever try them on children below 10 years. As this is a long-acting medicine, it should never be given to children below that age. A simple dosage can lead to a migraine problem in kids. Even for adults, this drug should be taken under medical supervision. Consult your physician before having it.

Though the medicine provides sudden relief from cough and cold, it is recommended that the drug should not be taken to reduce common cold. For simple cough and cold, go for light medications that have a low dosage. While using this drug, make sure you read the interaction with other medicines. All are mentioned in the packaging of the product, so read it carefully. Being a cough and cold drug this product can often make you sleepy; so never give an overdose to children above the age 10. It’s important to judge the kind of or the type of cough and cold and then buy the right medicine.

Recommended Dosage of Pseudoephedrine

The resistance power of the body varies from person to person. The best way to know the perfect dosage is through consulting your doctor.

Here are the common dosages of pseudoephedrine that one should take:

Adult Dosage:

For immediate release:  30 to 60 mg within 2 to 4 hours of gap.

For sustained release: 120 mg for 12 hours of gap

The maximum daily dose can be 240 mg. Crossing that limit may cause serious side effects.

Paediatric dose in case of nasal congestion

For Children Between 2 to 5 years:

12 mg will be enough for 6 hours of gap.

The maximum daily dosage that a child of this age can take is 60mg.

Doctors recommend maintaining atleast a few hours of gap.

For 6 to 12 years:

30 mg is recommended every 6 hours, whereas the maximum limit can be 120 mg per day.

Here are some tips:

  • This medicine should be taken orally before or after having food. The medicine should be repeated twice a day for better results. It’s important to maintain atleast 12 hours of time gap. Basically, the amount of dosage depends on your body weight, age, medical condition, and interactions with other medicines.
  • 240 milligrams is perfect for a day. Having more than that can cause serious problems.
  • For liquid medication, shake the bottle well before use and then measure it a proper measuring device. Do not measure it with any random household spoon as the measurement won’t be the exact amount.
  • For capsules, have them with a glass of water, never chew, or swallow the tablet without water. If you chew the capsule, it can lead to other side effects. Also, have a whole tablet at once. Do not half it unless the physician recommends you to do so.
  • Go for the best brand while picking your medicine. The usage instruction might be different for different products, so read carefully, and then decide.
  • While you are on this medication, avoid caffeine. Stop having coffee, tea, or chocolates in a huge quantity. Pseudoephedrine can react with caffeine and lead to serious side effects.

Generally, within 7 days, a difference can be seen in your health condition. In case you find no changes or your health worsens, immediately contact a doctor.

Overdose and Abuse of Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine has a history of abuse and overdose. Being a cough and cold drug, it has several side effects. Many a time teenagers misuse it for a non-medical purpose. Taking too much of this drug can lead to an increase in the heartbeat rate & blood pressure level. Withdrawal symptoms are quite often seen. Sometimes it becomes hard to stop taking this drug.

It can be used to prepare methamphetamine (a highly addictive stimulant). As this is available at different counters without any restrictions, it is easy to misuse this product.

But fortunately under the C M E Act, this drug is restricted in local shops. These are sold inside locked cabins and one needs to provide proper prescription and ID proof to purchase it from the counters. Also, one is allowed to buy only a particular amount of quantity monthly. The Westport Pharmaceuticals, in 2013 started selling the cold & allergy decongestant Zepherx-D because it contained a special formulation which prevented the easy manufacture of addictive stimulant.

Having this drug with the following list of diseases can cause serious side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney impairment
  • Glaucoma
  • Urination problem
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

If the drug is taken in too much of quantity in often cause the following side effects:

  • Headaches and migraine
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Body weakness.
  • Difficulty in breathing

Teenagers addicted to this drug have also gone through psychiatric problems like insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, fear, trauma, and sudden tension for no reason. So getting addicted to the drug can not only make you physically weak, but also mentally.

Symptoms of Pseudoephedrine High

For years Pseudoephedrine was used by athletes to enhance their performance ability.   The drug is in the world anti-dropping agency list and is highly restricted. As the drug has an instant energy gaining ability, it brings a sense of tension in the whole body.

Following are some symptoms that are often found when one has a pseudoephedrine high:

  • Due to the energy boosting agent present in the drug it can lead to uneven heartbeat. Often uneven heartbeat has resulted in collapse.
  • Athletes who have used it for instant energy boosting have gone through easy bleeding from little bruises, body aches, and sudden weakness after 12 hours.
  • One of the most commonly found symptoms is high blood pressure. This sudden change in blood pressure results in blurred vision, breathing problem seizure, confusion, and anxiety.
  • Speech problem is also found in people who kept on having this drug even after recovery from a cough and cold.
  • Memory loss and sudden blackouts can happen when you are high on pseudoephedrine.
  • Changes in the color and quantity of urine are a common symptom if you have an overdose of pseudoephedrine. Kidneys are the most affected organ if you are having pseudoephedrine high.

Who are at the Risk of Pseudoephedrine High?

For years it has been found that athletes use the drug as an energy stimulant that helps them to gain instant energy for every sport. Though most of them have denied this, there are rumors all around. The meth prepared from the product acts as an addictive stimulant, thereby attracting numerous teenagers. Teenagers generally buy this product from shops where there are no restrictions or prescription is not required. The dizziness that occurs from the overdose consumption of the drug is something that makes them addicted to the drug.

Pseudoephedrine can also affect infants. Small amounts pass through breast milk. So when pregnant mothers take this medicine, it can highly affect the infant. It is, therefore, recommended to consult your gynecologist before having it while you are pregnant.

Preventing Pseudoephedrine High

Rather be late than never. In case one is going through pseudoephedrine, high he/she immediately needs medical assistance. The physical symptoms mentioned above are often seen in people overdosing the drug. Here are some tips that can help to control the addiction:

  • Try to interact and spend more time with your family. It has often been found scattered relationships are the main reason for taking these kinds of addictive drugs. Spend more time with your dear ones and you will definitely feel more relaxed.
  • In case you suffer from health problems like heartaches, migraine pain, dizziness, kidney pain, or joint pain, immediately consult a doctor. Do not take random medicines to overcome such situations. You never know how pseudoephedrine is going to react with other medications.
  • One needs to have a control over himself or herself. Addiction means you are both mentally and physically dependent on a foreign substance. Having control over yourself is the best thing you can do to yourself. Quitting will make you self-dependent.
  • Drugs can ruin both your personal and professional life. Focus on your education and career. The more you involve yourself in educational stuff and choose a right career, the more will it help you to stay away from the drug abuse.
  • A balanced disciplined life is always recommended. Involving in things like meditation, yoga, exercise can help you gain control over your mind and heart.
  • Try to have a balanced diet. Eat more veggies than animal products. And what is more important is taking food at the right time.
  • Consult a psychiatric. Discuss your inner feelings with a professional in case you’re going through some emotional problem talk with the professional.
  • You need to have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily.


You might be thinking when the drug has so many harmful effects then why is it prescribed by doctors? This is the best medicine for nasal congestion and other cough and cold problems. The drug itself is not harmful at all if it is taken according to the doctor’s instructions. People who take this drug for medical issues and can control themselves from getting addicted to it are the real winners. The point is controlling oneself from all the bad things around. It is us who needs to draw the good from the bad.

A pseudoephedrine addict can go to any extent. He might ruin both his social and professional life for this drug. It is the people around them who get the most affected. A pseudoephedrine addict can go to any extent to buy the drug. It is known that people have even sold their wealth and property to purchase the drug. Thankfully this drug is sold in a much-restricted manner. One needs to provide their ID proof and medical prescriptions in order to buy the drug. Also, one can only buy a particular amount monthly.

In case you are a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child. As teenagers are the most affected group, parents should keep money away from them. Though, in the beginning, it might be tough to handle after repeated attempts, one will surely get results. Though many people have successfully quit the drug, the problem is the body gets accustomed to the drug, therefore craving for more of it. Families and friends around are the ones who are recommended to spend more time with people who are suffering from pseudoephedrine high. If proper measures are taken, one can surely quit the drug and lead a healthy life.

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