The role of pseudoephedrine on daytime somnolence in patients suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR)

Amir A. Sherkat, Niti Sardana, Sahar Safaee, Erik B. Lehman, Timothy J. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background Allergic rhinitis is one of several inflammatory diseases affecting the nasal mucosa. Cellular inflammation of nasal mucosa is a hallmark of this disease and is characterized by the accumulation of eosinophils and the release of various chemical messengers such as chemokines, cytokines, and histamine. This inflammation of the nose leads to nasal congestion and a reduction in sleep quality, resulting in daytime somnolence. Objective Drugs that significantly reduce the symptoms of nasal congestion also may help in alleviating sleep-related symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine that is indicated for treatment of nasal congestion associated with allergic rhinitis. Despite relieving nasal congestion, we speculated that, because of pseudoephedrine's well-known stimulant profile, sleep would not be improved. Method Fourteen subjects who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to either pseudoephedrine or placebo once per day in the morning, using the traditional crossover design. Skin testing test was performed to ensure a positive response to a relevant perennial allergen and a negative response to a seasonal allergen. Several questionnaires were used to evaluate the patients' sleep-related symptoms, allergic rhinitis symptoms, and quality of life. Results Our results showed that pseudoephedrine did not have a positive or negative effect on quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, or daytime fatigue as compared with placebo. Pseudoephedrine did show a statistical significance in improving stuffy nose (P = .0172). With respect to quality of life, pseudoephedrine led to a statistically significant decrease in intimate relationships and sexual activity as compared with the placebo group (P = .0310). Conclusion Our research suggests that sleep quality is not significantly affected by pseudoephedrine. As expected, congestion is reduced, but side effects such as a decline of intimate relationships and sexual activity may interfere with quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of pseudoephedrine on daytime somnolence in patients suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this