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Class: First Generation Antihistamines
ATC Class: R06AA08
VA Class: AH102
CAS Number: 3505-38-2
Brands: Arbinoxa, Palgic

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 1, 2021.


First generation antihistamine; an ethanolamine derivative.100 101

Uses for Carbinoxamine

Acute Allergic Reactions

Amelioration of allergic reactions to blood or plasma.100 g

Adjunct to epinephrine and other standard measures for management of anaphylaxis after acute symptoms have been controlled.100 g

Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis

Symptomatic relief of seasonal (e.g., hay fever) or perennial (nonseasonal) allergic rhinitis or nonallergic (vasomotor) rhinitis.100 g

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Symptomatic relief of allergic conjunctivitis caused by foods or inhaled allergens.100 g

Allergic Skin Disorders

Symptomatic management of mild, uncomplicated allergic skin manifestations of urticaria and angioedema.100 g

Treatment of dermatographism.100 g

Regulations Governing Carbinoxamine-containing Preparations

Many unapproved carbinoxamine-containing preparations formerly on the US market contained inappropriate labeling that promoted unapproved uses (including management of congestion, cough, or the common cold, and use in children <2 years of age), which posed serious health risks.101 102 (See Pediatric Use under Cautions and also see Preparations.)

Carbinoxamine Dosage and Administration


Oral Administration

Administer orally as tablets or oral solution on an empty stomach with water.100


Available as carbinoxamine maleate; dosage expressed in terms of the salt.100

Individualize dosage according to patient’s response and tolerance.100

Pediatric Patients

Allergic Conditions
Acute Allergic Reactions, Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis, Allergic Conjunctivitis, or Allergic Skin Disorders

Children ≥2 years of age: Usually, 0.2–0.4 mg/kg daily.100

Children 2–3 years of age: 2 mg 3 or 4 times daily (as oral solution).100

Children 3–6 years of age: 2–4 mg 3 or 4 times daily (as oral solution).100

Children >6 years of age: 4–6 mg 3 or 4 times daily (as tablets or oral solution).100


Allergic Conditions
Acute Allergic Reactions, Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis, Allergic Conjunctivitis, or Allergic Skin Disorders

Usually, 4–8 mg 3–4 times daily (as tablets or oral solution).100

Special Populations

Geriatric Patients

Initiate at lower dosages and monitor closely.100 (See Geriatric Use under Cautions.)

Cautions for Carbinoxamine


  • Children <2 years of age.100

  • Women who are breast-feeding.100

  • Patients receiving MAO inhibitor therapy.100

  • Known hypersensitivity to carbinoxamine or any ingredient in the formulation.100



Anticholinergic Effects

Possible anticholinergic effects (e.g., dryness of mouth, nose, and throat; dysuria; urinary retention).b Use with extreme caution, if at all, in patients with angle-closure glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, stenosing peptic ulcer, pyloroduodenal obstruction, or bladder neck obstruction.100 b

General Precautions

Concomitant Diseases

Use with caution in patients with increased IOP, hyperthyroidism, or cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension).100 b

Use of antihistamines generally not recommended in asthmatics who previously experienced a serious antihistamine-induced adverse bronchopulmonary effect. Do not use to treat lower respiratory symptoms, including asthma.100

CNS Effects

Risk of drowsiness.100 b Caution when performing hazardous activities requiring mental alertness and motor coordination (e.g., driving a motor vehicle, operating machinery).100 b

Possible excitability (especially in children).100 (See Pediatric Use under Cautions.)

Concurrent use of other CNS depressants may have additive CNS depressant effects.100 b (See Interactions.)

Specific Populations


Category C.100 c


Discontinue nursing or the drug because of potential risk to nursing infants.100

Pediatric Use

Risk of diminished mental alertness in children.100

Possible paradoxical excitement (e.g., restlessness, insomnia, tremors, euphoria, nervousness, delirium, palpitation, seizures), particularly in young children.100 b

Safety and efficacy not established in children <2 years of age;101 death reported in such patients, although causal relationship to carbinoxamine not established.101 102 Use contraindicated in children <2 years of age.100

Geriatric Use

Possible increased risk of dizziness, sedation, and hypotension in patients ≥60 years of age.100 b Confusion or oversedation also may occur.100 (See Geriatric Patients under Dosage and Administration.)

Common Adverse Effects

Sedation,100 g sleepiness,100 dizziness,100 disturbed coordination,100 epigastric distress,100 thickening of bronchial secretions.100

Interactions for Carbinoxamine

Specific Drugs and Laboratory Tests

Drug or Test



CNS depressants (alcohol, hypnotics, sedatives, tranquilizers)

Possible additive CNS depression100 b

Avoid alcohol;100 avoid concomitant use with other CNS depressants without consulting clinician100

MAO inhibitors

MAO inhibitors prolong and intensify anticholinergic effects of antihistamines100 b

Concomitant use contraindicated100

Test, antigen or histamine

Inhalation-challenge testing with histamine or antigen: Possible suppression of test response

Antigen skin testing: Possible suppression of wheal and flare reactions

Carbinoxamine Pharmacokinetics



Approximately 30 minutes.g


Pharmacologic effects persist for approximately 4 hours.100




Tablets and Oral Solution

Tight, light-resistant containers with child-resistant closures at 15–30°C.100


  • Blocks H1-receptor sites and prevents the action of histamine on the cell.100 b g

  • Suppresses flare and pruritus that accompany the endogenous release of histamine.b

  • Has anticholinergic and sedative effects.100

  • Exhibits some activities common to anticholinergics, ganglionic and adrenergic blocking agents, local anesthetics, and antispasmodics.b

  • Antihistamines do not block the stimulating effect of histamine on gastric acid secretion, which is mediated by the H2-receptors of the parietal cells.b

Advice to Patients

  • Risk of drowsiness; avoid alcohol and use caution when engaging in activities requiring mental alertness or motor coordination (e.g., operating machinery, driving a motor vehicle).100 b

  • Importance of administering tablets or oral solution on an empty stomach with water.100

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as any concomitant illnesses.100

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.100

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.100 (See Cautions.)


Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.

* available from one or more manufacturer, distributor, and/or repackager by generic (nonproprietary) name

Carbinoxamine Maleate


Dosage Forms


Brand Names




4 mg/5 mL*



Carbinoxamine Maleate Solution




4 mg*



Carbinoxamine Maleate



AHFS DI Essentials™. © Copyright 2021, Selected Revisions January 11, 2012. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

† Use is not currently included in the labeling approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.


Only references cited for selected revisions after 1984 are available electronically.

100. Pamlab, LLC. Palgic (4 mg carbinoxamine maleate) tablet and oral solution prescribing information. Covington, IA; 2006 Jun.

101. Food and Drug Administration. Carbinoxamine products: Enforcement action dates (Docket No. 2006N-0229). Fed Regist. 2006; 71:33462-5.

102. Food and Drug Administration. Questions and answers about unapproved drugs and FDA’s enforcement action against carbinoxamine products. Rockville, MD; 2006 Jun. From FDA website.

103. Anon. Dear Pamlab customer letter. Covington, LA: Pamlab, LLC; 2006 June 12. From Palgic website.

104. US Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Guidance for FDA staff and industry: Marketed unapproved drugs–Compliance policy guide. 2006 Jun. From FDA web site.

105. Srinivasan A, Budnitz D, Shehab N et al. Infant deaths associated with cough and cold medications—two states, 2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007; 56:1-4.

106. Food and Drug Administration. Cough and cold medications in children less than two years of age. Rockville, MD; 2007 Jan 12. From FDA website.

107. PamLab, LLC. Palgic (carbinoxamine maleate) product description. Covington, LA; Undated. From Pamlab website.,Palgic

108. Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Electronic Orange Book). Accessed 2011 Jun 29. From FDA website.

500. Food and Drug Administration. Drugs for human use; unapproved and misbranded oral drugs labeled for prescription use and offered for relief of symptoms of cold, cough, or allergy, enforcement action dates. Notice. [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0100] Fed Regist. 2011; 76:11794-8.

b. AHFS Drug Information 2008. McEvoy GK, ed. Antihistamines General Statement. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2008:1-8.

c. Carbinoxamine. In: Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in pregnancy and lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005:229.

g. PamLab, LLC. Palgic (carbinoxamine maleate) product description. Covington, LA; Undated. From Pamlab website.,Palgic