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All about: cyproheptadine

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Generic Name: cyproheptadine (sip row HEP ta deen)
Brand Names: Periactin

What is cyproheptadine?

Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine. Cyproheptadine blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.

Cyproheptadine is used to treat sneezing; runny nose; itching, watery eyes; hives; rashes; itching; and other symptoms of allergies and the common cold.

Although not approved by the FDA for this purpose, cyproheptadine has been used to stimulate appetite in underweight patients.

Cyproheptadine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about cyproheptadine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Cyproheptadine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking cyproheptadine.

Who should not take cyproheptadine?

Do not take cyproheptadine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A very dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye;

  • a stomach ulcer;

  • an enlarged prostate, bladder problems, or difficulty urinating;

  • an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism);

  • hypertension or any type of heart problems; or

  • asthma.

You may not be able to take cyproheptadine, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Cyproheptadine is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take cyproheptadine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Cyproheptadine passes into breast milk. Infants are especially sensitive to the effects of antihistamines, and serious side effects could occur in a nursing baby. Cyproheptadine is not recommended if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not take cyproheptadine without first talking to your doctor if you are nursing a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from cyproheptadine. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take cyproheptadine?

Take cyproheptadine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Cyproheptadine can be taken with or without food.

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the syrup form of cyproheptadine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. The maximum amount of cyproheptadine that you should take in 1 day is 32 mg.

Store cyproheptadine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a cyproheptadine overdose include extreme sleepiness, confusion, weakness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, large pupils, dry mouth, flushing, fever, shaking, insomnia, hallucinations, and possibly seizures.

What should I avoid while taking cyproheptadine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Cyproheptadine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking cyproheptadine.

Cyproheptadine side effects

Stop taking cyproheptadine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take cyproheptadine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • sleepiness, fatigue, or dizziness;

  • headache;

  • dry mouth; or

  • difficulty urinating or an enlarged prostate.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect cyproheptadine?

Do not take cyproheptadine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A very dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Talk to your pharmacist before taking other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or insomnia medications. These products may contain medicines similar to cyproheptadine, which could lead to an overdose of antihistamine.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • anxiety or sleep medicines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), temazepam (Restoril), or triazolam (Halcion);

  • medications for depression such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), or paroxetine (Paxil); or

  • any other medications that make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with cyproheptadine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about cyproheptadine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Cyproheptadine is available with a prescription under the brand name Periactin. Other brand and generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Periactin 4 mg--round, white, scored tablets

  • Periactin 2 mg per 5 mL (1 teaspoon)

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:01:21 PM.

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