Actifed Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant as well as a bronchodilator for the upper respiratory tract, which gives symptomatic relief of nasal congestion. Pseudoephedrine is both an α-and β-adrenergic receptor agonist. It causes vasoconstriction via direct stimulation of α-adrenergic receptors of the respiratory mucosa. It also directly stimulates β-adrenergic receptors causing bronchial relaxation, increased heart rate and contractility.

Like ephedrine, pseudoephedrine releasing norepinephrine from its storage sites, an indirect effect. This is its main and direct mechanism of action. The displaced noradrenaline is released into the neuronal synapse where it is free to activate the postsynaptic adrenergic receptors.

Triprolidine binds to the histamine H1 receptor. This block the action of endogenous histamine, which subsequently leads to temporary relief of the negative symptoms brought on by histamine.

Trade Name Actifed
Generic Pseudoephedrine + Triprolidine
Weight 0.25, 6mg/ml, 2.5, 60mg, 1.25mg, , 30mg, 1.25mg
Type Tablet, Syrup
Therapeutic Class Combined cough suppressants
Manufacturer Glaxosmithkline, Glaxosmithkline (gsk), Glaxo Saudi Arabia, Glaxo Wellcome Indonesia, Sterling Products Indonesia
Available Country India, Saudi Arabia, United States, Indonesia
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am

How Actifed works

Pseudoephedrine acts mainly as an agonist of alpha adrenergic receptors and less strongly as an agonist of beta adrenergic receptors.[A10896] This agonism of adrenergic receptors produces vasoconstriction which is used as a decongestant and as a treatment of priapism. Pseudoephedrine is also an inhibitor of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin transporters.

The sympathomimetic effects of pseudoephedrine include an increase in mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and chronotropic response of the right atria. Pseudoephedrine is also a partial agonist of the anococcygeal muscle. Pseudoephedrine also inhibits NF-kappa-B, NFAT, and AP-1.

Triprolidine binds to the histamine H1 receptor. This blocks the action of endogenous histamine, which subsequently leads to temporary relief of the negative symptoms brought on by histamine.


Actifed dosage

Adult: 1 tablet 4-6 hrly, up to 4 times a day.

Child >12 year: 1 tablet 4-6 hrly, up to 4 times a day.

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth/nose/throat, headache, upset stomach, constipation, or trouble sleeping may occur.


The oral LD50 of pseudoephedrine is 2206mg/kg in rats and 726mg/kg in mice.

Patients experiencing an overdose of pseudoephedrine may present with giddiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, thirst, tachycardia, precordial pain, palpitations, difficulty urinating, muscle weakness, muscle tension, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, toxic psychosis, cardiac arrhythmias, circulatory collapse, convulsions, coma, and respiratory failure. Treat overdose with symptomatic and supportive treatment including removal of unabsorbed drug.

Symptoms of overdose include drowsiness, weakness, inco-ordination, difficulty with micturition, respiratory depression, hypotension, agitation, irritability, convulsions, hypertension, palpitation and tachycardia.


Severe hepatic impairment. Moderate to severe renal impairment. DM, hyperthyroidism, increased intraocular pressure, prostatic hypertrophy, hypertension, heart disease. May affect ability to drive or operate machinery. Pregnancy and lactation.


Increased BP with other sympathomimetic agents (e.g. decongestants, TCA, appetite suppressants). Reduced hypotensive effects of methyldopa, α- and β-adrenergic blockers. Increased side effects (e.g. somnolence, agitation) with atomoxetine.

Volume of Distribution

The apparent volume of distribution of pseudoephedrin is 2.6-3.3L/kg.

Elimination Route

A 240mg oral dose of pseudoephedrine reaches a Cmax of 246.3±10.5ng/mL fed and 272.5±13.4ng/mL fasted, with a Tmax of 6.60±1.38h fed and 11.87±0.72h fasted, with an AUC of 6862.0±334.1ng*h/mL fed and 7535.1±333.0ng*h/mL fasted.

Rapidly absorbed in the intestinal tract.

Half Life

The mean elimination half life of pseudoephedrine is 6.0h.

4 to 6 hours.


A 60mg oral dose of pseudoephedrine has a clearance of 5.9±1.7mL/min/kg.

Elimination Route

55-75% of an oral dose is detected in the urine as unchanged pseudoephedrine.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy Category- C. Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks


Concurrent use or within 2 wk of stopping MAOIs. Severe hypertension or coronary artery disease.

Acute Overdose

Symptoms: Drowsiness, lethargy, dizziness, ataxia, weakness, difficulty passing urine, dry skin, tachycardia, hypertension, high fever, hyperactivity, irritability, seizures and respiratory depression.

Management: Gastric lavage may be performed up to 3 hr after overdose. Treatment is supportive and symptomatic. Acid diuresis or dialysis may be helpful in pseudoephedrine elimination.

Storage Condition

Tablet: Do not store above 25° C.

Syrup: Do not store above 25° C. Diluted syrup can be stored up to 4 wk at 25° C.

Innovators Monograph

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*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.