Allergies Home > Sudafed Side Effects

As with most non-prescription medications, there is not a lot of detailed information on the side effects of Sudafed. Some of the possible side effects may include insomnia or drowsiness, loss of appetite, and difficulty passing urine. While most side effects of this drug are minor, some are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience vision changes, chest tightness, or hallucinations.

An Introduction to Sudafed Side Effects

As with any medicine, Sudafed® (pseudoephedrine hydrochloride) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, some people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Sudafed. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Sudafed side effects with you. The information in this article applies to original Sudafed, now found behind the pharmacy counter. For information about side effects of the reformulated Sudafed products that contain phenylephrine instead of pseudoephedrine, see Sudafed PE Side Effects.)

Bothersome Side Effects of Sudafed

Sudafed is a non-prescription medication, and detailed information about possible side effects is not provided in the labeling for non-prescription medications. Therefore, no exact percentages for the individual side effects are available.
Based on this limited information, some of the possible bothersome (but usually not dangerous) side effects of Sudafed include:
  • Chills
  • Mild dizziness
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Excitability, nervousness, or restlessness
  • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth, throat, or nose
  • Weakness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Mild shakiness
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Sweating.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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