chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, Deconamine (Discontinued)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine

BRAND NAMES: Deconamine (Discontinued)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Deconamine was a brand name medication that contains two different drugs, an antihistamine (chlorpheniramine) and a decongestant (pseudoephedrine). The antihistamine effects of chlorpheniramine account for its effect of reducing allergy symptoms. The decongestant action of pseudoephedrine is a result of blood vessel constriction in the nasal air passages, such as in the nose or sinuses. Brand name and generic formulations of combination products containing only chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine have been discontinued in the U. S., most likely due to the regulation of pseudoephedrine distribution.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PREPARATIONS: Tablets of 4 mg chlorpheniramine/60 mg pseudoephedrine; chew tabs of 1 mg c/15 mg p; syrup of 2 mg c/30 mg p.

STORAGE: Combinations of chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine should be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container.

PRESCRIBED FOR: The combination drug was used for the temporary relief of runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion from the common cold. Deconamine also was used for inflamed nasal passages (sinusitis), hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and sinus congestion.

DOSING: The combination drug may be taken with or without food. It must be used cautiously in patients with heart (coronary artery) disease and angina, diabetes, lung diseases, especially asthma, glaucoma, and narrowing of the stomach exit (pyloric stenosis).

DRUG INTERACTIONS: The combination drug can cause drowsiness and impaired ability to operate machinery. It contains pseudoephedrine which should not be taken with MAO inhibitors drugs. Caution must be exercised in the administration of this drug to patients with heart or lung disease. The combination drug should not be combined with other drugs containing pseudoephedrine (such as Sudafed) because of increased risk of side effects on the heart and blood vessels. While misuse of the combination drug for the purpose of getting "high" is unfamiliar to the editors, it is a specific warning from the manufacturer that patients be aware of possible "additive" effects of the drug when taken with alcohol and other central nervous depressants (such as sedatives and tranquilizers). This means that when the drug is taken with, for example, alcohol, the effect of the alcohol could be magnified. Conversely, alcohol increases the sedating qualities of Deconamine.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, impaired ability to accurately operate machinery, worsening of glaucoma or asthma or chronic lung diseases, rash, hives, perspiration, chills dry mouth or throat, low blood counts, restlessness, ringing in the ears, stomach upset, urinary frequency or difficulty. Side effects of pseudoephedrine include stimulation of the nervous system leading to nervousness, restlessness, excitability, dizziness, headache, fear, anxiety, tremor, and even hallucinations and convulsions (seizures).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 3/9/2012




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