Pseudoephedrine-Benefits and Risks

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 13;22(10):5146. doi: 10.3390/ijms22105146.


Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is a drug with a long history of medical use; it is helpful in treating symptoms of the common cold and flu, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis. Due to its central nervous system (CNS) stimulant properties and structural similarity to amphetamine, it is also used for non-medical purposes. The substance is taken as an appetite reducer, an agent which eliminates drowsiness and fatigue, to improve concentration and as a doping agent. Due to its easier availability, it is sometimes used as a substitute for amphetamine or methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is also a substrate (precursor) used in the production of these drugs. Time will tell whether legal restrictions on the sale of this drug will reduce the scale of the problem associated with its misuse.

Keywords: adverse reactions; non-medical use; pseudoephedrine; sympathomimetic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Methamphetamine / chemistry
  • Pseudoephedrine / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Methamphetamine
  • Pseudoephedrine