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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Acetaminophen and Pseudoephedrine
Acetaminophen and Pseudoephedrine
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(a seet a MIN oh fen & soo doe e FED rin)

Brand Names
Alka-Seltzer Plus® Cold and Sinus [OTC]; Allerest® No Drowsiness [OTC]; Children's Tylenol® Sinus [OTC]; Coldrine®[OTC]; Dristan® Cold [OTC]; Ornex®[OTC]; Ornex® Maximum Strength [OTC]; Sine-Aid® Maximum Strength [OTC]; Sine-Off® Maximum Strength No Drowsiness Formula [OTC]; Sinus-Relief®[OTC]; Sinutab® Sinus Maximum Strength Without Drowsiness [OTC]; Tavist® Sinus [OTC]; Tylenol® Sinus Maximum Strength [OTC]

Therapeutic Categories
Alpha/Beta Agonist; Analgesic, Miscellaneous

What is this medicine used for?

  • Acetaminophen is used to decrease pain.
  • Pseudoephedrine is used to dry up nasal stuffiness.


How does it work?

  • Acetaminophen decreases the production of chemicals called prostaglandins. This decreases pain.
  • Pseudoephedrine shrinks swollen nasal tissue and opens up passages. This increases sinus drainage.


How is it best taken?

  • Do not take more than prescribed amount. Liver damage can occur.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough liquids unless told to drink less by healthcare provider. Avoid products with caffeine.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • This medicine may also be taken on an as needed basis depending on relief of symptoms, duration of cold, or allergy.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake. Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, rapid heartbeats, and anxiety.
  • Pseudoephedrine can cause inability to sleep or nervousness.
  • Not for coughs due to smoking, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Use caution if you have high blood pressure. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are a heavy drinker. This medicine mixed with alcohol can cause liver damage.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that increase blood pressure. These include cough or cold remedies, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and certain herbs or supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Inability to sleep.
  • Very nervous and excitable.
  • Dry mouth. Frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for change in symptoms. Is condition better, worse, or about the same?


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Cough continues for more than 1 week or tends to return.
  • Severe headache.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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