Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine: managing the risk of misuse - 2009 update

This public assessment report has been superseded by a more recent report published in 2015.

01 July 2009

Pseudophedrine (PSE) and ephedrine (EPH) are nasal decongestants contained in many over-the-counter cough and flu remedies. 

Tighter controls on the sale of medicines containing PSE or EPH were introduced in 2008, because of concern over the potential misuse of these ingredients in the illegal manufacture of the Class A controlled drug methylamphetamine.

A review in 2009 of the impact of these tighter controls revealed they were successful in containing the risk of misuse of PSE and EPH.

This safety information has also been highlighted in a recent press release from the MHRA and in the September 2009 issue of Drug safety Update (page 5)PDF file (opens in new window) (156Kb).

This report presents the evidence that was available when the regulatory decision was made, showing a ‘snapshot’ of the clinical landscape at the time. However, any advice in this report remains current unless it is superseded by a more recent report (where relevant, this is indicated).

Page last modified: 11 February 2016