Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed children's syrup)

How does it work?

Sudafed non-drowsy children's syrup contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, which is a type of medicine called a decongestant.

Pseudoephedrine works by acting on alpha receptors that are found in the walls of blood vessels in the linings of the nasal passages and sinuses. It causes these blood vessels to contract and narrow, thereby decreasing blood flow into the linings of the nose and sinuses. This reduces the feeling of congestion and also reduces the production of mucus.

Pseudoephedrine can be used to relieve a blocked nose and sinus congestion associated with colds and flu.

What is it used for?

  • Relieving a blocked nose or sinuses associated with colds.

How much do I give?

  • Sudafed children's syrup is suitable for children aged six years and over.
  • For children aged 6 to 12 years, one 5ml spoonful should be given every four to six hours, as necessary. Do not give more than four doses in 24 hours.
  • Children over 12 years of age should take two 5ml spoonfuls every four to six hours, as necessary. Do not take more than four doses in 24 hours.
  • Do not give this medicine to children under 12 years of age for longer than five days without the advice of a doctor.

Warning!

  • Do not exceed the recommended dose.
  • If symptoms persist despite treatment, seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not give your child other cough and cold medicines in combination with this one. Different products may contain the same active ingredient(s) and using more than one at the same time could lead to you exceeding the recommended dose for your child. For further advice talk to your pharmacist.

Not to be used in

  • Children under six years of age.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
  • Tumour of the adrenal gland (phaeochromocytoma).
  • Diabetes.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Severely decreased kidney function.
  • Children who have taken a monoamine-oxidase inhibitor antidepressant (MAOI) in the last 14 days.

This medicine should not be used if your child is allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if your child has previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel your child has experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Use with caution in

  • Decreased kidney function
  • Severely decreased liver function.
  • Children who have difficulty passing urine (urinary retention).
  • Children with blood circulation problems such as Raynaud's disease.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all children using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Feeling sick or vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Anxiety.
  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Skin rash.
  • Restlessness, disturbed sleep or hallucinations. If your child appears to be affected in this way by this medicine you should stop using it and consult your doctor.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

If your child is taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine as well, to make sure that the combination is safe.

You should not give your child other cough and cold medicines, including other decongestant medicines, in combination with this one. Different products may contain the same active ingredient(s) and using more than one at the same time could lead to you exceeding the recommended dose for your child. For further advice talk to your pharmacist.

This medicine should not be taken by children currently taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant (eg phenelzine, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine or moclobemide), or who have taken one of these medicines in the last 14 days. This is because the combination could cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.

If pseudoephedrine is taken with any of the following medicines, the combination may cause an increase in blood pressure. If your child is already taking any of these medicines you should avoid giving them this one as well:

  • appetite suppressants
  • amphetamine-like stimulants, including methylphenidate, dexamfetamine and modafinil
  • other decongestants (often found in other non-prescription cough and cold remedies)
  • the antibiotic linezolid
  • tricyclic antidepressants, eg amitriptyline.

Pseudoephedrine may reduce the effects of medicines to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives). If your child is taking medicines for high blood pressure you should not give them this medicine.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Boots decongestant tablets Care decongestant tablets and liquid Galpseud tablets and liquid
Sudafed decongestant tablets and liquid

A wealth of other cold and flu remedies are available to buy without a prescription. Many of these also contain pseudoephedrine in their ingredients.