Interactions Between Sudafed and Alcohol

If you are diagnosed with sinus congestion and tired of being stuffed up, your doctor may prescribe Sudafed. Sudafed is a brand name for Pseudoephedrine (PSE) and helps with health conditions like nasal congestion and pressure due to cold, high fever, or allergic reaction. Pseudoephedrine is a counter medication used as an essential ingredient in Sudafed.

This medication also helps with cough and trouble breathing. Sudafed is a well-known medicine that doctors prescribe as a nasal decongestant. Sudafed (PSE) narrows the blood vessels in your nasal passages. This mechanism allows your sinuses to drain due to the opening of your nasal passages. Intake of this medication will help the patient breathe easily without complications.

Sudafed PE is quite different from Sudafed PSE, though these medicines are used for the same purpose. Sudafed PSE consists of Pseudoephedrine, and Sudafed PE does not have Pseudoephedrine. Instead, it consists of Phenylephrine as its active ingredient. Sudafed PE treats nasal congestion due to cold, hay fever, and other respiratory allergies. You can get these prescribed medications from a pharmacist in case of a medical condition. Children’s Sudafed PE Nasal Decongestant is available in liquid and tablet form.

Side effects of Sudafed PSE and Sudafed PE

Sudafed medications are sometimes misused because they contain Methamphetamine. In 2005 Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act banned the sales of cold medicines. That is why it is best to gather drug information from a doctor before taking any medication. Sudafed is provided by health care providers who advise adults to consume two tablets every four hours.

Older adults are also prescribed to take two tablets every four to six hours. Whereas dosage is different for children. They should take small doses, like one tablet every four hours and sometimes after six hours. Sudafed is not suitable for children who are below age six. It is important to follow dosage instructions to avoid serious side effects.

Below is the list of common side effects of Sudafed PSE and Sudafed PE:

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Pale skin

Interaction between Sudafed and Alcohol

Combining alcohol with any drug can lead to a medical emergency. Alcohol abuse can result in nausea, vomiting, and headaches and impact your mental health. It can also lead to various heart problems. These symptoms get extreme once you mix alcohol with Sudafed. Because Sudafed, also known as Pseudoephedrine, is a stimulant and alcohol is a sedative. Mixing them will result in various types of side effects.

If you or your friend suffers from heart problems, the combination of Sudafed and alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, increasing a patient’s risk of a heart attack. Alcohol also affects your central nervous system resulting in drowsiness and lack of concentration. However, having a small amount of alcohol is not dangerous, but drug abuse can permanently damage your immune system.

Risks of consuming Alcohol with Sudafed

Although Sudafed does not lead to a condition where you need to seek medical attention, however, alcohol poisoning while you are taking Sudafed can be harmful and puts your health at risk.

Alcohol-linked nasal symptoms (ANS)

As suggested by its name, alcohol-linked nasal symptoms can result from drinking while taking Sudafed. Women are more in danger of suffering from ANS than men during drug interactions. Moreover, patients diagnosed with asthma are more prone to show severe ANS symptoms.

ANS is related to excessive wine drinking that leads to breathing complications. Breathing problems are one of its symptoms that occurs due to the swelling of blood vessels. A person experiencing sinus pressure must avoid alcohol with cold medicine like Sudafed because it can cause dehydration, nasal congestion, and thickened mucus. People who suffer from drug abuse may also have stuffy noses after taking alcoholic drinks.

Harmful to your immune system

Your immune system acts like a shield against diseases and infections and fights against them. Sudafed boosts your immune system to fight against symptoms of cold and hay fever. But when you are addicted to alcohol and continue to consume it with Sudafed, it can weaken your immune system. A weak immune system can prevent your body from healing against infections.

It would be best for your health to avoid nasal decongestants like Sudafed PE with alcohol when you have a cold and stuffy nose. A person who is addicted to drinking can put their health at risk. Fortunately, help is available at The Recovery Team, where our team of medical professionals will help you and your loved one at this difficult time.

Sudafed interactions with other drugs

Sudafed, other than alcohol, can also be harmful to other substances, so it is best to consult a health care provider. Drinking alcohol without other drug interactions is still harmful to your health, and the effects of alcohol include physical and mental health problems. In this condition, you or your family member is not alone because, at our facility, we provide a Family Program that will help an individual heal with their family member’s support.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are sedative medications that doctors prescribe to treat anxiety and depression. MAOI is also used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Azilect, Emsam, and Nardil are a group of medications belonging to the MAOI sedatives category.

Sudafed’s interaction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors can increase the risk of heart disease for a person who takes it. If you are a patient with depression and are prescribed an MAOI drug, then you must avoid mixing it with Pseudoephedrine.

Ergot derivatives

A doctor prescribes ergot derivative to treat migraines, Parkinson’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes symptoms. Ergot and Sudafed interaction can lead to an increase in blood pressure that can result in heart failure. It is best to avoid Sudafed with a substance like Ergot.


Zyvox, also known as Linezolid, is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia and skin infection. This medicine is quite similar to the MAOI drug, and its combination with Sudafed can cause high blood pressure and heart problems.


Doctors give Phentermine to patients who want to lose weight. This medication acts directly on the central nervous system to decrease your appetite. The common side effect of Phentermine is an increased heart rate.

Sudafed Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)

If you take decongestant medication for sinus infection, avoid taking Sudafed PSE and Sudafed PE together. Because in rare conditions, it might lead to an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to Sudafed, you can also consider herbal remedies like apple cider vinegar, a natural decongestant.

Consuming large quantities of Sudafed can result in life-threatening medical conditions. If your loved one is addicted to alcohol, you can help them by seeking our help. Our facility provides various programs that include fitness and exercise sessions to help them combat addiction.