GENERIC NAME: CLEMASTINE - ORAL (KLEM-ast-een)
BRAND NAME(S): Tavist
USES: Clemastine 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: If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed.Take the tablet or liquid form by mouth with or without food. Follow the directions for dosing on the label, or take as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.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 than recommended by your doctor or the package instructions 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.If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
SIDE EFFECTS: Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, constipation, stomach upset, blurred vision, trouble walking/clumsiness, 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. Clemastine 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.If your doctor has prescribed this drug, remember that 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, nervousness, confusion), 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 rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking clemastine, 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.Liquid preparations of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product.Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, constipation, problems urinating, or confusion. Drowsiness and confusion can increase the risk of falling.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.This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray).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.
OVERDOSE: 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.
NOTES: If your doctor has prescribed this medication, do not share it with others.Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.Do not take for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.
MISSED DOSE: If you are taking this medication on a regular schedule and 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.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details.
Information last revised November 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Related Disease Conditions
The word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a year-round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
Hives (Urticaria & Angioedema)
Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.