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What Is Cyproheptadine HCl?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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Cyproheptadine HCL is a medication used to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as itchy, irritated eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as mild hives. A doctor may also prescribe it to patients who have suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction, following emergency treatment with other drugs. Patients who have received blood or plasma and suffered allergic reactions may also take this medicine. Cyproheptadine HCL is an antihistamine that works by interfering with the substance that causes allergic reactions.

Most patients will be prescribed a dose of cyproheptadine HCL two to three times daily. It is available as a tablet or a liquid, and it may be taken with or without food. Those who use the liquid form of this antihistamine should use a medicine cup to measure an accurate dose.

Certain precautions should be followed while using cyproheptadine HCL. The consumption of alcohol should be avoided, because this can increase drowsiness. Dry mouth may also occur, which can be alleviated by drinking water frequently or chewing gum. This medicine may make patients more sensitive to sunlight, so exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided.

In addition, patients should be advised that this drug may interfere with the results of a skin allergy test. Elderly patients and children may be more susceptible to adverse side effects. Cyproheptadine HCL should never be used in children younger than two years old, and a pediatrician should be consulted before administering the drug to older children.

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Some side effects may occur while using this antihistamine, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become severe. Patients may experience dry throat or nose, dizziness, and drowsiness. Constipation, nausea, and excitability may also occur. Nervousness, restlessness, and blurred vision have also been reported.

More serious side effects require immediate medical care. Rarely, cyproheptadine HCL may result in jaundice, unusual bruising or bleeding, or abnormal back or stomach pain. Fainting, hallucinations, and persistent loss of appetite, along with a fever, chills, or sore throat may also occur. Decreased coordination, fatigue, and insomnia have also been reported, along with tremors, seizures, and confusion.

Before using cyproheptadine HCL, patients should disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the potential risks with their doctors. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those with glaucoma, kidney problems, or high blood pressure, as well as a seizure disorder, asthma, or a blockage in the intestinal tract. Cyproheptadine HCL may interact with other medicines, including narcotics, sedatives, and sleeping pills, as well as any other drugs used to treat allergies or colds.

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