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All about: Chlorpheniramine

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Generic Name: Chlorpheniramine Capsules and Tablets (klor-fen-IHR-ah-meen)
Brand Name: Examples include Ahist and Chlor-Trimeton

Chlorpheniramine is used for:

Relieving symptoms of sinus congestion, sinus pressure, runny nose, watery eyes, itching of the nose and throat, and sneezing due to upper respiratory infections (eg, colds), allergies, and hay fever. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing.

Do NOT use Chlorpheniramine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Chlorpheniramine
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB) or if you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Chlorpheniramine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Chlorpheniramine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • if you have a history of asthma, lung problems (eg, emphysema), heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart blood vessel problems, stroke, glaucoma, a blockage of your stomach or intestines, ulcers, a blockage of your bladder, trouble urinating, an enlarged prostate, seizures, or an overactive thyroid

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Chlorpheniramine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), sodium oxybate (GHB), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because side effects of Chlorpheniramine may be increased
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because side effects may be increased by Chlorpheniramine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Chlorpheniramine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Chlorpheniramine :

Use this medicine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Chlorpheniramine may be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Chlorpheniramine , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Chlorpheniramine .

Important safety information:

  • Chlorpheniramine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Chlorpheniramine . Using Chlorpheniramine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Do NOT exceed the recommended dose or take Chlorpheniramine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within 5 to 7 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Chlorpheniramine may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Chlorpheniramine . Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • If you are scheduled for allergy skin testing, do not take Chlorpheniramine for several days before the test because it may decrease your response to the skin tests.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Chlorpheniramine .
  • Use Chlorpheniramine with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using Chlorpheniramine in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking Chlorpheniramine , discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Chlorpheniramine during pregnancy. It is unknown if Chlorpheniramine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Chlorpheniramine .

Possible side effects of Chlorpheniramine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or throat; excitability; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; tremor; trouble sleeping; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of Chlorpheniramine :

Store Chlorpheniramine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Chlorpheniramine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Chlorpheniramine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chlorpheniramine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Chlorpheniramine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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