Generic name: Dexchlorpheniramine – Oral
Dexchlorpheniramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat/skin, cough, runny nose, and sneezing. This medication works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. By blocking another natural substance made by your body (acetylcholine), it helps dry up some body fluids to relieve symptoms such as watery eyes and runny nose. Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely. These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).
How to use
Take this medication by mouth with or without food or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs. If you are taking the extended-release tablets, do not crush or chew them. Doing so can release the entire drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing. If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon. Your dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often without your doctor’s approval. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking dexchlorpheniramine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema), a certain eye problem (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease, seizures, stomach problems (e.g., ulcers, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), urination problems (e.g., trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit the use of alcohol and certain other medications that cause drowsiness. (See also Drug Interactions.)To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure. Children may be more sensitive to the effects of antihistamines. In young children, this medication may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Based on information from related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray), antispasmodics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), drugs for Parkinson’s disease (e.g., anticholinergics such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl), scopolamine, tricycle antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline).Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, constipation, stomach upset, blurred vision, decreased coordination, or dry mouth/nose/throat may occur. These effects may decrease as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute. Dexchlorpheniramine can dry up and thicken mucus in your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and clear your lungs. To help prevent this effect, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations, irritability, and nervousness), ringing in the ears, trouble urinating. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizure. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seeks immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: large pupils, flushing, fever, hallucinations, weakness, shaking (tremor), muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, seizures. In children, excitement may occur first, and may be followed by loss of coordination, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others. Do not take for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.
Indications and Usage
Treatment of perennial and seasonal allergic rhinitis; vasomotor rhinitis; allergic conjunctivitis; mild, uncomplicated allergic skin manifestations of urticaria and angioedema; amelioration of allergic reactions to blood or plasma; dermographism; adjunctive anaphylactic therapy.
Dosage and Administration
Adults and Children 12 yr of age and older
Tablets: 6 mg at bedtime or every 8 to 10 h.
Children 6 to 12 yr of age
Tablets: 4 mg/ day, preferably at bedtime.