Pseudoephedrine is an indirect sympathomimetic from the chemical class of phenethylamines and amphetamines. It is used as a decongestant for the nose and sinuses in cold symptoms and in priapism. It can also be used as a stimulant or in higher doses as an awakening agent and is often abused for these effects. It was first characterized in 1889 by the German chemists Ladenburg and Oelschlägel of the Merck company in Darmstadt. They isolated the substance from a sample of the plant Ephedra vulgaris, which has long been used in traditional Eastern medicine. The decongestant effect of pseudoephedrine was first described in 1927 in animal experiments.