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cyproheptadine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cyproheptadine (SIP roe HEP ta deen)
Brand Name: Periactin

What is cyproheptadine?

Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Cyproheptadine is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, itching, red or watery eyes, and other symptoms of seasonal allergies (hay fever). Cyproheptadine is also used to treat other conditions such as eczema or skin reactions to insect bites.

Cyproheptadine is sometimes used to treat certain types of headaches, including migraines.

Cyproheptadine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about cyproheptadine?

You should not use cyproheptadine if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, a stomach ulcer or obstruction, an enlarged prostate, urination problems, or if you are having an asthma attack. You also should not use cyproheptadine if you are breast-feeding a baby, if you are elderly, or if you have a debilitating disease.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

You should not use antihistamine medication to make a child sleepy.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cyproheptadine?

You should not use cyproheptadine if you are allergic to it, or if:

  • you have narrow-angle glaucoma;

  • you have a stomach ulcer or obstruction;

  • you have an enlarged prostate or urination problems;

  • you are breast-feeding a baby;

  • you are having an asthma attack; or

  • you are elderly or have a debilitating disease.

Do not give this medicine to a newborn or premature baby. Cyproheptadine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

To make sure cyproheptadine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma;

  • a history of asthma;

  • high blood pressure;

  • heart disease; or

  • an overactive thyroid.

Cyproheptadine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether cyproheptadine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Antihistamines may slow breast milk production. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take cyproheptadine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old. You should not use antihistamine medication to make a child sleepy. Death can occur from the misuse of an antihistamine in very young children.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Cyproheptadine doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers), and any changes may affect the dose.

This medicine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking cyproheptadine.

Store in a tightly-closed container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, hallucinations, very dry mouth, dilated pupils, pale or reddish skin, tingly feeling, vomiting, restlessness (in a child), weak or shallow breathing, or a seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking cyproheptadine?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

Cyproheptadine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using cyproheptadine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • tremor, seizure (convulsions);

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • little or no urination;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • easy bruising or bleeding;

  • ringing in your ears; or

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, weakness.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • dry mouth, nose, or throat;

  • constipation;

  • blurred vision; or

  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Cyproheptadine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Reaction:

Initial dose: 4 mg orally three times a day
Maintenance dose: 12 to 16 mg/day, occasionally up to 32 mg/day but not to exceed 0.5 mg/kg/day

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

Initial dose: 4 mg orally three times a day
Maintenance dose: 12 to 16 mg/day, occasionally up to 32 mg/day but not to exceed 0.5 mg/kg/day

Usual Adult Dose for Pruritus:

Initial dose: 4 mg orally three times a day
Maintenance dose: 12 to 16 mg/day, occasionally up to 32 mg/day but not to exceed 0.5 mg/kg/day

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

Initial dose: 4 mg orally three times a day
Maintenance dose: 12 to 16 mg/day, occasionally up to 32 mg/day but not to exceed 0.5 mg/kg/day

Usual Adult Dose for Anorexia Nervosa:

Initial dose: 2 mg orally four times a day
Maintenance dose: may increase gradually over 3 weeks to 8 mg orally four times a day

Usual Adult Dose for Cushing's Syndrome:

Initial dose: 2 mg orally four times a day
Maintenance dose: may increase gradually over 3 weeks to 8 mg orally four times a day

Usual Adult Dose for Cluster Headache:

4 mg orally four times a day

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine:

4 to 8 mg orally three times a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Reaction:

0.25 mg/kg/day or 8 mg/m2 body surface area in 2 to 3 divided doses, or by age as follows:

2 to 6 years: 2 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 12 mg/day

7 to 14 years: 4 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 16 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

0.25 mg/kg/day or 8 mg/m2 body surface area in 2 to 3 divided doses, or by age as follows:

2 to 6 years: 2 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 12 mg/day

7 to 14 years: 4 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 16 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pruritus:

0.25 mg/kg/day or 8 mg/m2 body surface area in 2 to 3 divided doses, or by age as follows:

2 to 6 years: 2 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 12 mg/day

7 to 14 years: 4 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 16 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urticaria:

0.25 mg/kg/day or 8 mg/m2 body surface area in 2 to 3 divided doses, or by age as follows:

2 to 6 years: 2 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 12 mg/day

7 to 14 years: 4 mg orally two to three times a day, not to exceed 16 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anorexia:

> 13 years: 2 mg orally 4 times a day. May be increased gradually over a 3 week period to 8 mg 4 times a day. Maximum dose is 32 mg/day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Migraine:

4 mg orally two to three times a day

What other drugs will affect cyproheptadine?

Taking cyproheptadine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with cyproheptadine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about cyproheptadine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 18.01.

Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: September 29, 2016

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