Chlorpheniramine Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to chlorpheniramine: oral liquid, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to chlorpheniramine: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral capsule extended release, oral liquid, oral suspension extended release, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet extended release
Central nervous system side effects have included depression resulting in drowsiness in 75% or more of treated patients. Dyskinesias have rarely been reported following chronic use of chlorpheniramine.[Ref]
Nearly all patients treated with chlorpheniramine experience drowsiness. This drowsiness may subside in some patients with extended use.
Few cases of dyskinesias and tremors, often of the face, have been reported in patients whose chronic use of chlorpheniramine extended over a period of 3 to 10 years. Some of these cases were only partially relieved by discontinuation of the drug. Haloperidol was successful in relieving symptoms.[Ref]
Ocular side effects of chlorpheniramine may include blurred vision, diplopia, and dry eyes due to anticholinergic effects.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects have included dysuria, urinary hesitancy, and a decreased urine flow. In rare cases, the anticholinergic effect of chlorpheniramine has precipitated acute urinary retention.[Ref]
A fatal case of agranulocytosis has been reported in a patient taking chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, phenylpropanolamine, and aspirin. Chlorpheniramine was felt to be the cause.[Ref]
1. "Letter: Dyskinesia associated with chronic antihistamine use." N Engl J Med 294 (1976): 113
2. Millet VM, Dreisbach M, Bryson YJ "Double-blind controlled study of central nervous system side effects of amantadine, rimantadine, and chlorpheniramine." Antimicrob Agents Chemother 21 (1982): 1-4
3. Thomas JS, Heurich AE, Ralph JW, Crane R, Shepherd DA "Double-blind, controlled study of clemastine fumarate, chlorpheniramine and placebo in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis." Ann Allergy 38 (1977): 169-74
4. Krause LB, Shuster S "A comparison of astemizole and chlorpheniramine in dermographic urticaria." Br J Dermatol 112 (1985): 447-53
5. Bantz EW, Dolen WK, Chadwick EW, Nelson HS "Chronic chlorpheniramine therapy: subsensitivity, drug metabolism, and compliance." Ann Allergy 59 (1987): 341-6
6. Schuller DE, Turkewitz D "Adverse effects of antihistamines." Postgrad Med 79 (1986): 75-86
7. Thach BT, Chase TN, Bosma JF "Oral facial dyskinesia associated with prolonged use of antihistaminic decongestants." N Engl J Med 293 (1975): 486-7
8. Weiler JM, Donnelly A, Campbell BH, Connell JT, Diamond L, Hamilton LH, Rosenthal RR, Hemsworth GR, Perhach JL, Jr "Multicenter, double-blind, multiple-dose, parallel-groups efficacy and safety trial of azelastine, chlorpheniramine, and placebo in the treatment of spring allergic rhinitis." J Allergy Clin Immunol 82 (1988): 801-11
9. "Product Information. Chlortrimeton (chlorpheniramine)." Schering-Plough, Liberty Corner, NJ.
10. Deringer PM, Maniatis A "Chlorpheniramine-induced bone-marrow suppression." Lancet 1 (1976): 432
11. Hardin AS "Chlorpheniramine and agranulocytosis ." Ann Intern Med 108 (1988): 770
12. Kanoh T, Jingami H, Uchino H "Aplastic anaemia after prolonged treatment with chlorpheniramine ." Lancet 1 (1977): 546-7
13. Eisner EV, LaBocki NL, Pinckney L "Chlorpheniramine-dependent thrombocytopenia." JAMA 231 (1975): 735-6
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.
More about chlorpheniramine
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 27 Reviews
- Drug class: antihistamines
- Chlorpheniramine Extended-Release Tablets
- Chlorpheniramine Liquid
- Chlorpheniramine Syrup
- Chlorpheniramine Tablets