Chlorpheniramine is used to relive itchy, red, watery eyes, itchy nose and throat, sneezing, running nose due to allergies, common cold and hay fever. Chlorpheniramine is not used for treatment of cold and allergy symptoms, but it helps to control tem. Its generic name is Chlorpheniramine maleate and common brand name is Odall AR. Here is some insight into Chlorpheniramine maleate.
How Does Chlorpheniramine Maleate Work?
Basically Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine. During an allergic reaction, the body produces histamine and this medication blocks it. It also blocks another substance produced by the body (acetylcholine). By doing so, it helps dry some fluid producing symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes.
Keenly follow the instructions for your dosage to avoid getting serious side effects. Since Chlorpheniramine maleate causes drowsiness, do not use it to make a child sleep. This is drug abuse. Make sure you do not administer another cold and cough medication with similar ingredients. Consult a doctor or pharmacist on other ways to control the symptoms. Some include drinking lots of water, saline nose drops or spray.
Before Taking Chlorpheniramine Maleate
Inform the pharmacist or doctor of any medications you might be taking. Do not forget to include vitamin, mineral and any other nutritional supplements. Make sure you mention narcotic painkillers, cold medications, anxiety medication, depression medication, sedatives, muscle relaxants, hay fever medication and sleeping pills or tranquilizers.
Inform the doctor if you have had a history of asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema or any other form of lung infection, glaucoma, diabetes, ulcers, enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, heart disease, over reactive thyroid gland or seizures.
Inform the doctor of an existing pregnancy or a planned pregnancy if you are breastfeeding or get pregnant during the dose.
If you are to undergo any form of surgery, you need to inform the surgeon that you are taking Chlorpheniramine maleate.
Chlorpheniramine maleate causes drowsiness so avoid driving or operating machinery.
Consult your doctor about consuming alcohol while still taking Chlorpheniramine. Alcohol could worsen the side effects.
How to Take Chlorpheniramine Maleate
If you get this medication over the counter, read all the instructions on the leaflet. If you do not understand, ask the pharmacist for clarification. If the doctor has prescribed the medication, then follow the prescription to the letter.
The liquid, capsule or tablet can be taken with food or without as per the dosage that is recommended. If the medication gives you stomach upsets, you can take it with milk or food.
If the drug is contained in an extended release capsule, then swallow it whole. Avoid crushing it or chewing it as this might worsen the side effects because of releasing the drug at once. If the tablet has a score line, you can break it if the doctor approves of it. Otherwise, do not break the capsule or the tablet.
If it is in liquid form, use the required measuring device and not a common spoon. If it is a suspension, make sure you shake it thoroughly before taking it.
The dosage that you take is dependent on your condition, age as well as response to therapy. You should not at all cost alter your dosage as you wish. Take as recommended on the package, or as recommended by your doctor. Take the medicine at the same time every day for the best results.
If symptoms persist seek medical advice.
In case of overdose, contact the emergency response or a doctor immediately. For those in USA, they can call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222. In Canada, you can call the provincial poison control center. Overdose symptoms include fever, large pupils, hallucinations, shaking, weakness, muscles twitching, seizures and even loss of consciousness. For children, you might notice excitement at first, the lack of coordination, drowsiness, seizures and loss of consciousness.
Missed dose: If you realized that you missed a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is time for the next dose, do not take double in order to recover the missed dose.
- If you have Chlorpheniramine maleate under a doctor’s prescription, do not share it with other persons.
- Keep all regular lab and medical appointments.
- If you are being tested for allergies do not take the medicine for a few days prior as the results could get affected.
Special Notes for Children
For children under the age of 6 years, cold and cough products have been deemed unsafe and ineffective. It is, therefore, not wise to use Chlorpheniramine maleate on children below 6 years unless otherwise instructed by a doctor. Other products like long acting capsules/tablets are also not recommended for children below the age of 12. Before using such medication, ask a pediatrician for further advice.
Chlorpheniramine Maleate Side Effects
The reported side effects include decreased coordination, stomach upset, constipation, headache, dizziness, drowsiness or dry throat/nose/mouth. In most cases, these effects will decrease with time as your body adopts, but if they seem to get worse seek medical attention.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, suck sugarless ice chips or candy, chew sugar free gum, use saliva substitutes or drink lots of water. Chlorpheniramine maleate in some cases can cause thickening of mucus and drying up in your lungs. To counter this, drink a lot of water.
If you see empty shells of the capsules in your stool do not be alarmed as it is normal. Inform the doctor of any allergic reactions you have to drugs. When you buy it over the counter read all the ingredients to ensure you are not allergic to any.