pseu·​do·​ephed·​rine ˌsü-dō-i-ˈfed-rən How to pronounce pseudoephedrine (audio)
 British also  -ˈe-fə-drən
: an isomer of ephedrine used in the form of its hydrochloride or sulfate especially to relieve nasal congestion

Examples of pseudoephedrine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meth cooks’ ingredient of choice was one of the most common decongestants on the market at the time, pseudoephedrine, which could be found at any drugstore. Christina Jewett, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 Although pseudoephedrine remains available without a prescription and is effective, the need to ask the pharmacist for it has deterred some customers. Maggie Scales,, 15 Sep. 2023 Amirshahi noted that pseudoephedrine comes with side effects, including dizziness, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 14 Sep. 2023 As a result, buying pseudoephedrine products can be a clunky, time-consuming process. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 In comparison, 50 million packages of pseudoephedrine were sold that year, producing $542 million in sales. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2023 And medications that are considered effective for sinus and nasal congestion do still include nasal sprays with phenylephrine, including Afrin, or oral pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, or nasal steroids, such as Flonase. Christina Jewett,, 12 Sep. 2023 Drugmakers also market a separate class of nasal decongestants containing pseudoephedrine (PSE). Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 12 Sep. 2023 Phenylephrine has increasingly been used as a substitute for pseudoephedrine in many non-prescription cold remedies. Cailley Lapara, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pseudoephedrine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pseudoephedrine was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near pseudoephedrine

Cite this Entry

“Pseudoephedrine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


-i-ˈfed-rən, British also -ˈef-ə-drən
: a crystalline alkaloid C10H15NO that is isomeric with ephedrine and is administered chiefly in the form of its hydrochloride C10H15NO·HCl or sulfate (C10H15NO)2·H2SO4 especially to relieve nasal congestion
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