Compare Delsym vs. Sudafed

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Delsym (Dextromethorphan)

Over-the-counter

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)

Prescription or OTC
Relieves coughing.

Delsym (Dextromethorphan) is a good option for treating dry cough. It's not safe to take with MAO inhibitors though.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 127 reviewsforDelsym
Clears your sinuses.

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) relieves stuffy nose, but it could keep you up at night. Don't forget your photo ID or you won't be able to buy it in the drugstore.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1740 reviewsforSudafed
Upsides
  • Good for treating dry cough.
  • Available in drugstores either by itself or in combination with other medications to treat cold and allergy symptoms.
  • Available as a liquid and a tablet.
  • Some products relieve cough for up to 12 hours.
  • One of the best over-the-counter options to clear stuffy nose and help you breathe better.
  • Clears nasal congestion better than other decongestants like phenylephrine.
  • Can be helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches and pressure in your ears.
  • Available in regular and extended release forms.
Downsides
  • Can't take dextromethorphan if you're taking MAO inhibitors (drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, depression, and other emotional conditions). If taken together, they will cause dangerously high blood pressure levels.
  • If you're taking this in combination with other cold and allergy medications, you should read labels closely to make sure you're not accidentally taking too much of a single ingredient.
  • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
  • Can raise blood pressure so check with your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
  • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) isn't as effective after using it for more than 4 days straight.
  • Need to show a photo ID to buy it in the drugstore and there is a limit on how much you can buy each visit.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
127 
63%
think this treatment is worth it
32%
think this treatment works well
12%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Delsym (Dextromethorphan)?

Leave a review
1740 
82%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
6%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Delsym (Dextromethorphan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings