What Is Pseudoephedrine

Know the facts and connect with support to help you address known or suspected substance use with your child.

Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant found in over-the-counter decongestant medications. 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.[1]

Understand 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.

Identify & address use

Signs of use include nausea, nervousness, headache, difficulty sleeping, stomach pain, and fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat. If you’re concerned your child may be misusing pseudoephedrine or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior more effectively.