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.

View 10 Common Allergy Triggers

Cyproheptadine also can intensify the drying effects on moist tissues (such as the eye or mouth) of other medications with anticholinergic properties (for example, dicyclomine [Bentyl] and bethanechol [Urecholine], probanthine).

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Studies in pregnant women have not shown that cyproheptadine harms the fetus during the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy. However, these studies do not exlude the possibility of harm. Cyproheptadine should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. It is not known whether cyproheptadine is excreted in human milk.

STORAGE: Cyproheptadine should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

DOSING:

  • The recommended starting dose for adults is 4 mg every 8 hours.
  • The dose range is 4 mg to 20 mg daily.
  • Some patients may require up to 32 mg day. The dose should not exceed 0.5 mg/kg daily.
  • Children 7 to 14 years of age should receive 4 mg 3 times daily. The maximum dose is 16 mg daily.
  • Children 2 to 6 years old are treated with 2 mg three times daily and the maximum dose is 12 mg a day.
  • The total daily dose may also be calculated by weight (0.25 mg/kg/day) or surface area (8 mg/m2).

 

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM:

  • Cyproheptadine 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.
  • The FDA approved cyproheptadine in October, 1961.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/20/2016

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