Bladder Prostate Urethra

How Does Cold Medicine Affect Your Pee

It is winter and whether we like it or not, it is flu season again.  As another year passed, we are yet to face more virulent strain of flu that the current flu vaccine won’t be as effective on it as with the previous years.   It also simply means that a lot more people will be sick this winter and over the counter cold medicines will be in demand again.


Bladder Prostate Urethra
Bladder Prostate Urethra


Other than Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), there aren’t any medications to treat flu but they can help fight the symptoms.  To begin with, medicines like pseudoephedrine work by contracting the muscles in the sinuses and nasal passages in order to help the flu victim breathe better.  However, just remember that the muscle fibers in the nose and sinuses are also controlled by alpha adrenergic receptors.  When a patient takes cold medicine, these same muscle fibers compress in the prostrate area, narrowing the urinary channel and making it hard for you to pee.


Since these pseudoephedrine medications are pointed as the culprit, are there any substitutes to relieve you from your stuffy and runny nose?


  • Nasal sprays like afrin can help you in opening up the nasal passages without it getting absorbed by your body.
  • Applying eucalyptus and camphor products like vapo rub right under your nose and on your chest area also helps. This is may be a traditional way but it surely does the work of tricking your brain into thinking that you’re breathing better.
  • Steam humidifiers and hot baths will also provide relieve without affecting your prostate.


What if you already congested pseudoephedrine or medicines like tamsulosin or silodosin which are also known as alpha blockers?


  • You can take in Sudafed, an alpha agonist and will directly oppose alpha blockers.
  • Better yet, call your physician or go into the emergency room where they can put catheter to drain your bladder until the effects wear off.