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- What is cyproheptadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for cyproheptadine?
- What are the side effects of cyproheptadine?
- What is the dosage for cyproheptadine, and how should I take it?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with cyproheptadine?
- Is cyproheptadine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about cyproheptadine?
What is cyproheptadine, 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 cyproheptadine available as a generic drug?
Yes, cyproheptadine is available in generic form.
Do I need a prescription for cyproheptadine?
Yes, you need a prescription for cyproheptadine from your doctor or other health care professional.
What are the side effects of cyproheptadine?
Side effects of include:
- Fast heart beat
- High or low blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Double Vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Urinary retention
- Nasal stuffiness
Other side effects that have been reported include:
- Early menses
- Dryness of mouth, nose, and throat
- Facial dyskinesia
- Tightness of chest
Antihistamines may reduce mental alertness, however, they may occasionally produce excitation in children.
Patients should be warned about driving a car or operating machinery and participating in other activities that require mental alertness and motor coordination.
What is the dosage for cyproheptadine, and how should I take it?
- 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.
- The dosage for 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).
Which drugs or supplements interact with cyproheptadine?
Cyproheptadine adds to the sedating effects of alcohol and other drugs like benzodiazepines, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants, and high blood pressure (hypertension) medications, that can cause sedation.
1. Benzodiazepines is a class of drugs of anti-anxiety medications, for example:
2. Narcotics is a drug class of drugs of pain medications and its derivatives, for example:
- oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)
- hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Vicodin)
- guaifenesin with hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- codeine, propoxyphene (Darvon)
3. Tricyclic's is a class of drugs of antidepressants, for example:
4. Certain antihypertensive medications, for example:
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), and probanthine.
Is cyproheptadine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- Studies in women who are pregnant have not shown that cyproheptadine harms the fetus during the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy. However, these studies do not exclude 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.
What else should I know about cyproheptadine?
- This drug is available in the following preparations: Tablets: 4 mg; Oral Solution: 2 mg/5 ml
- Store this medication should at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
- The FDA approved cyproheptadine in October 1961.
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Cyproheptadine (Periactin) is an antihistamine used to treat allergic reactions by blocking the histamines. The drug is used for various types of allergic reactions including skin reactions. Off-label (non-FDA approved) uses include spasticity associated with spinal cord injury and preventing migraine headaches. Review side effects, dosage, drug and supplement interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking this drug. Periactin, the brand name, has been discontinued.
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Related Disease Conditions
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
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.
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Headache Home Remedies
Headaches are a common complaint for many people. There are many types of headaches such as migraine, tension, cluster, and the general run of the mill headache. These 17 natural home remedies -- for example, exercise, meditation, hydration, yoga, caffeine, essential oils such as lavender and butterbur, herbs, and supplements like magnesium -- can soothe and relieve some headaches.
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.
Eye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics may cause eye allergies. Allergic eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear-duct obstruction, and conjunctivitis due to infection are frequently confused with eye allergies. Eye allergies may be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical mast-cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic medications, and allergy shots.
Carcinoid Syndrome (Tumor)
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Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
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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.
Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults
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Are Hives (Urticaria) Contagious?
Hives are not contagious are triggered by an allergic response to a substance. Symptoms and signs of hives include a raised, itchy red rash on the skin. An individual should seek medical care for hives if he or she develops dysphagia, wheezing, shortness of breath, or throat tightening.
Is Pinkeye Contagious?
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Allergy Treatment Begins At Home
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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