Know the facts about pseudoephedrine and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What is it?
Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant that works as a decongestant.

What does it look like?
Pseudoephedrine is found in over-the-counter tablets and capsules.

How is it used?
Medically, it is used to treat congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold. Pseudoephedrine is also used as a key ingredient in the production of the illicit drug methamphetamine.

What do young people hear about it?
Pseudoephedrine is used as an ingredient in methamphetamine.

What are the risks?
Pseudoephedrine may cause side effects such as restlessness, nausea, vomiting, headache, nervousness, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, stomach pain, difficulty breathing, and fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat.

To curb production of methamphetamine, pharmacies and other retail stores are legally required to keep logs of purchases of products containing pseudoephedrine; individuals may only purchase a limited amount of those products on a single day.

What are signs of use?

  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Look for Warning Signs

Do you think your child may be using drugs? If so, have you noticed any of these changes or warning signs?