Pseudoephedrine HCL

(pseudoephedrine hydrochloride)


Children’s Sudafed
Active ingredient (in each 5 mL*) pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 15 mg. *Note: 5 mL = one teaspoonful

*Note: be aware that due to restrictions being placed on the sale of pseudoephrine in non-prescription over the counter medications, in the USA, phenylphrine is being substituted in place of pseudoephedrine such as Children’s Sudafed PE (phenylphrine) nasal decongestant. Dosing for Children’s Sudafed PE, in the rat, is 1/2 of the children’s dose noted on the label, two to three times a day).


  • 4 fluid ounce (118 mL) syrup in a non-drowsy formula. Also, alcohol and sugar free.

    *Note: due to the USA Patriot Act (HR 3889, Title VII) in September of 2006, it is now required that nonprescription medication containing pseudoephedrine be kept “behind the counter” in the pharmacy. To purchase this type of medication, you must go to the pharmacy and ask for it. You will also be required to show some form of government-issued identification and to sign a logbook.


Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine. It stimulates alpha receptors in the respiratory tract causing vasoconstriction, and reducing swollen nasal mucous membranes. It helps to increase patency in the airway reducing tissue hyperemia, edema, and congestion which promotes sinus drainage, and the opening of obstructed Eustachian tubes.

The drug is widely distributed throughout the body. Nasal decongestion can occur within 30 minutes and can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.

Pseudoephedrine is metabolized incompletely in the liver and excreted unchanged in the urine. It has also been reported to be excreted into breast milk. Consult a veterinarian before using in pregnant or lactating rats.


Used for nasal / sinus and Eustachian tube congestion (stuffiness).

Drug Interactions or Contraindications

  • Due to pseudoephedrine being a sympathomimetic amine it should be used with caution in geriatric, hypertensive, or diabetic rats, or those rats with glaucoma, hepatic, or renal disease.

Adverse Reactions

CNS: depression, drowsiness, tremors, restlessness

CV: arrhythmias, tachycardia

GI: poor appetite

GU: difficulty urinating

Dosage Recommendations

Children’s Sudafed (containing pseudoephedrine)

0.5 mg/lb to 1.5 mg/lb two to three times a day as needed  3, 12

Example: When using Children’s Sudafed, containing pseudoephedrine, with the concentration of 15 mg/5 ml (15 mg/per teaspoon): the 0.5 mg/lb dosage would be 0.17 mL (actual dosage 0.166 mL) and a 1.5 mg/lb dosage would be 0.5 mL.

Do Not give greater than three doses in 24 hours, or use greater than one week unless instructed by a veterinarian.


  • *Note: tablet form contains a different concentration of pseudoephedrine than the children’s syrup. In addition, tablet forms of Sudafed are not to be crushed. It is therefore, neither suitable, nor recommended to use Sudafed in tablet form for rats.
  • Store at room temperature away from heat and light.


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