Compare Sudafed vs. Rhinocort Aqua

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Rhinocort Aqua

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.Relieves nasal allergy symptoms. Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) is a steroid nasal spray that works best when used regularly for your nasal allergy symptoms.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
of people say Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Sudafed side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Sudafed »
  • Nosebleed 3%
  • Sore throat 1%
  • Bronchospasm 1%
More Rhinocort Aqua side effects »
How it works
Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) is a steroid nasal spray that works directly in your nose to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
Type of medication
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of seizures
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
  • Long-term use
  • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Long-term use
  • Untreated infections
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • Taking more than recommended dose
Detailed Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
  • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
  • Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) lowers the number of nasal symptoms you'll get during allergy season.
  • Most people don't have many side effects since it works in the nose and doesn't affect the rest of your body.
  • Doesn't make you drowsy or dizzy.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • Needs to be used everyday to work, so it can't be used as needed.
  • Can hace an unpleasant smell or taste.
  • It's good for 120 sprays, but there isn't a counter to help you keep track of sprays.
  • Can't be used in kids younger than age 6 years.
  • Need a prescription to get Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • You need to show an ID to buy Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains pseudoephedrine.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
  • Don't take Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) too close to bedtime since it can keep you awake.
  • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
  • Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
  • Works best if used everyday. It takes about one week to start seeing the best results.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you know how to use this nose spray correctly.
  • Shake the spray gently and clear your nose before each use.
  • Before using it for the first time or if you haven't used it in 2 days, prime the spray pump until you see a fine mist.
  • Breathe in slowly as you're spraying and tilt your head back slightly after spraying. Wait 15 minutes before blowing your nose if needed.
  • Some people get minor nose irritation, nosebleeds, sore throat, or headaches after using it.
Learn more
More about SudafedSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Rhinocort AquaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert