What is the Difference Between Phenylephrine HCl and Pseudoephedrine HCl

The key difference between phenylephrine HCL and pseudoephedrine HCl is that phenylephrine HCl has a primary affinity towards only alpha-adrenergic receptors, whereas pseudoephedrine HCl has an affinity for both alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors.

Phenylephrine HCl is a type of medication used as a decongestant to dilate the pupil, increase blood pressure, and relieve hemorrhoids. Pseudoephedrine HCl, on the other hand, is a medication used as a sympathomimetic drug.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Phenylephrine HCl  
3. What is Pseudoephedrine HCl
4. Phenylephrine HCl and Pseudoephedrine HCl in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Phenylephrine HCl vs Pseudoephedrine HCl

What is Phenylephrine HCl?

Phenylephrine HCl is a type of medication useful as a decongestant to dilate the pupil, increase blood pressure, and relieve hemorrhoids. We can take it orally as a decongestant. It can relieve nasal congestion, which comes due to the cold and hay fever. However, other than taking it orally, it is also available as a nasal spray, injection given into vein or muscle, and also as an ointment applied to the skin.

Figure 01: The Chemical Structure of Phenylephrine Molecule

There are some side effects of this medication, including nausea, headache, and anxiety. Generally, when it is taken on hemorrhides, it is well tolerated. There can be some serious side effects as well: slow heart rate, intestinal ischemia, chest pain, kidney failure, and tissue death. However, its effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding are unclear.

The bioavailability of phenylephrine HCl is about 38% through the GI tract. Its protein binding ability is about 95%. The metabolism of this drug occurs in the liver via oxidative deamination, and its elimination half-life is about 2.1-3.4 hours. The onset of action of this drug is very rapid. The duration of action can be up to 20 minutes.

What is Pseudoephedrine HCl?

Pseudoephedrine HCl is a medication used as a sympathomimetic drug. This drug belongs to the chemical class of amphetamine drugs. It is useful as a nasal or sinus decongestant, as a stimulant, as a wakefulness-promoting agent when used in high doses.

Figure 02: The Chemical Structure of Pseudoephedrine HCl

The bioavailability of this drug is 100%, and the metabolism occurs through the hepatic mechanism. The elimination half-life of pseudoephedrine HCl is around 4.3-8 hours, and the excretion occurs through the renal route in 43-96% percentage.

There are some side effects of using this medication which might include central nervous system stimulation, insomnia, nervousness, excitability, dizziness, and anxiety. Moreover, this medication tends to be contraindicated in patients with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, severe or uncontrolled hypertension, closed-angle glaucoma, etc.

What is the Difference Between Phenylephrine HCl and Pseudoephedrine HCl?

Phenylephrine HCl is a type of medication used as a decongestant to dilate the pupil, increase blood pressure, and relieve hemorrhoids. Meanwhile, pseudoephedrine HCl is a medication used as a sympathomimetic drug. The key difference between phenylephrine HCL and pseudoephedrine HCl is that phenylephrine HCl has a primary affinity towards only the alpha-adrenergic receptors, whereas pseudoephedrine HCl has an affinity for both alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors.

The below infographic presents the differences between phenylephrine HCL and pseudoephedrine HCl in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Phenylephrine HCl vs Pseudoephedrine HCl

Phenylephrine HCl is a type of medication used as a decongestant to dilate the pupil, increase blood pressure, and relieve hemorrhoids. Pseudoephedrine HCl is a medication used as a sympathomimetic drug. The key difference between phenylephrine HCL and pseudoephedrine HCl is that phenylephrine HCl has a primary affinity towards only the alpha-adrenergic receptors, whereas pseudoephedrine HCl has an affinity for both alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors.