What Is Chlorpheniramine Used For?
The common cold, hives, and upper respiratory allergies can all be treated with chlorpheniramine. It is approved for use in both adults and children. Occasionally, healthcare providers may recommend this medication "off-label" for treating other conditions. Off-label chlorpheniramine uses may include the treatment of insomnia and mild depression or anxiety.
An Overview of Chlorpheniramine Uses
Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine medication. It is available by itself in various non-prescription medication or in combination with other active ingredients in various prescription and non-prescription medications. The approved uses may vary, depending on the particular product. Approved uses include treatment of the following conditions:
Not all chlorpheniramine products are approved and labeled for every use.
How Does the Medication Work?
Chlorpheniramine is part of a class of drugs called antihistamines. Specifically, it is an H1 receptor antagonist. This means it blocks a specific type of histamine receptor in the body known as H1 receptors. Since allergic reactions are partly caused by the release of histamine from certain cells in the body, chlorpheniramine can help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.
Chlorpheniramine also blocks acetylcholine receptors, an action that produces some of the unpleasant side effects of the medication, such as dry mouth or difficulty urinating, but also helps to relieve a runny nose.
Can Children Use Chlorpheniramine?
Some chlorpheniramine products (depending on the particular strength) are approved for use in children. Medications (including chlorpheniramine) should not be used to treat the common cold in children under four years old, as cold medications have not been shown to be effective or safe in young children.