Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine which is used widely in the clinical practice to relieve symptoms of allergies, common cold and hay fever. These common symptoms include having runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, cough, sore throat and itchy skin or nose.
How does this medication work? During an allergic reaction, let’s say after an exposure to common triggers like pollen, danders, house dust mites and smoke, your body cells will start to release a chemical substance called histamine and initiate the inflammatory response which produces an array of signs and symptoms as stated above. Chlorpheniramine works by blocking this chemical substance and halting the inflammatory process to relieve the symptoms of allergies.
Commonly, chlorpheniramine is available in three forms which are the tablet, capsules and liquid form. If you are buying this medication from over the counter, do read the instructions provided together and if it is prescribed by your doctor, do follow the dosage, frequency and duration of consumption as per told to avoid any overdosage or major side effects.
How to use chlorpheniramine?
If you are using the liquid form of chlorpheniramine, use the measuring device given together with the bottle to measure the prescribed dose meticulously. Try not to use spoons or any other inaccurate devices to measure the dose of the liquid form. Bear in mind, you will need to shake the bottle well before consuming to allow suspended liquid to mix well.
If you are using the extended release capsule or tablet form, swallow them as a whole, avoid crushing or chewing them as this can lead to release of all of the drug at once which can increase the possibility of side effects. Do not split the medication unless it has been told by your doctor.
Your required dosage is based on a few factors such as age, any presence of underlying disease and previous response to the therapy. Do not miss or double the dose without your doctor’s advice. Take this chlorpheniramine regularly as been prescribed at the same time everyday to prevent missing the dose and for the best benefits of this medication.
If you have missed a dose, take the dosage required as soon as you remember them or if the timing is near to the next dose, simply take the next dosage as scheduled and continue the rest of them. Do not ever try to double the dose as this can cause increase in side effects.
Side effects of chlorpheniramine
Common side effects of chlorpheniramine include drowsiness, dizziness, stomach upset, constipation, dry mouth or dry throat. These side effects do not require any specific interventions.
For dry mouth or dry throat, simply chew or such candy or ice chips which are sugarless. To reduce dizziness or lightheadedness, get up slowly from sitting or lying position without rushing. Get medical help immediately if you are experiencing any serious side effects such as seizures. Most of the patients consuming this medication will not have any serious side effects requiring hospitalizations.
A serious allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis is not possible with this drug, but please immediately get the help of a doctor if you have any severe rashes, itchiness, swelling or trouble in breathing.
Precautions before taking chlorpheniramine
- Inform your doctor in prior if you have experienced any major side effects or allergic reaction when using any antihistamine before.
- If you are pregnant, only consume chlorpheniramine if it is clearly indicated and if you are breastfeeding, this medication has the possibility to pass into breast milk. So do consult your doctor before taking them.
- Children may be a little too sensitive to these drugs, use them cautiously in children.