Periactin (cyproheptadine)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is Periactin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cyproheptadine (Periactin) is an oral antihistamine used for treating allergic reactions. It works by blocking the effects of histamine and is classified as a first generation antihistamine. Histamine is released by cells of the body during several types of allergic reactions and, to a lesser extent, during some viral infections, such as the common cold. When the histamine binds to receptors on other cells, it stimulates changes within the cells that lead to the release of chemicals that cause sneezing, itching, and increased production of mucus. Antihistamines compete with histamine for cell receptors and bind to the receptors without stimulating the cells. In addition, they prevent histamine from binding and stimulating the cells. Cyproheptadine also blocks the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic effect) and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that nerves and muscles use to communicate with one another, and it causes drowsiness.

Is it available as a generic drug?

Yes, cyproheptadine is available in generic form.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2017

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