Your system has a distinctive type of cells known as mast cells. These cells can be seen at your mouth, nose, skin, gut, lungs and in your blood. The basis task of such cells is to make a substance called histamine whenever there is an invasion of an allergen or other external risks. Your brain activates mast-cells to secrete histamines. But, excessive allergic reactions may need to be inhibited. For this, caregivers prescribe a category of meds known as antihistamines. Cyproheptadine is a prominent member in this genre of drugs. However, before starting to take this drug, it becomes essential to know the side effects it may trigger.

Mast cells in your body are the warehouses that house allergy-fighters called as histamines. Once triggered by appropriate signals from your brain, histamines are released into the affected part. Most commonly affected parts include your facial or oral organs, skin or lungs. However, in some rare instances, serious allergies can develop in your blood as well as guts. Soon after the release of histamines – you may witness a high level of blood flow into the area under attack. As a result, a spell of inflammation ensues, which means – your immunity system has taken over. It signifies that repair has commenced.

You are advised to know that antihistamines are essentially meds taken to control the reactions caused when your body makes allergy-fighting histamines. But, how do these drugs work? The answer lies in their ability to dissociate histamines from sensors. Once the sensors fail to attach to the signals, your body no longer makes histamines. You also need to remember that signs such as sneezing, teary eyes, reddening of eyes, a sudden increase in body temperature and itchiness are all outcomes of histamines. It is needless to state – once sensors are muted, none of these above signs show up. Allergens may be of different types. Most common ones include dust particles, fur, pet dander or pollen grains. In some instances, you may turn allergic to weather conditions. This can be experienced among those who are living in extremely hot or icy climatic conditions.

Cyproheptadine is a commonly prescribed antihistamine drug. Its key use is to control the production of histamines; at a deeper level, the drug halts the sensory signals associated with the making of histamines. You may be advised to take this drug to prevent clinical conditions like watery eyes, itchiness, incessant episodes of sneezing, runny nose, etc. In some people, their system makes an abundant quantity of steroids i.e., those which are naturally made by your body. In such cases, a toxic condition of excessive hormones may emerge. In medical terms, such a condition is known as Cushing syndrome. As an extended use, this drug is used for the treatment of such syndromes.

You have to know that there are many sub-categories within the broader genre of antihistamines. Some sub-categories can make your very dizzy or can also lead to sedation. Drugs such as cyproheptadine belong to such a sub-class of antihistamines; this sub-class is generally referred to as sedation-causing antihistamine drugs. It is very important to note that cyproheptadine falls under this sub-category. These drugs put you to deep sleep and start the healing process. Owing to this, cyproheptadine can be used for relatively severe allergic conditions such as those caused by bites of insects, exposure to fine dirt or dust, pollen or pet dander. Potency of the active chemicals used in cyproheptadine also has the capabilities to control spells of hay fever.

Likely side effects of cyproheptadine

This drug is likely to cause a few adverse side effects. The most commonly experienced discomfort is – it is likely to make you feel very dizzy. In some cases, other discomforts such as drowsiness, sleepiness and feeling very lethargic have also been noticed. In case of elderly people, the drug may lead to accidental falls or loss of coordination. In some remote cases, older patients have experienced impairment of motor function; however, such acute side effects may occur when you have taken an overdose of this drug. As a safety measure, it is unsafe to do sporting activities like swimming, scuba diving, cycling or jumping. It is equally unsafe to pursue tasks such as driving, working with intricate / potentially hazardous tools or operating heavy machinery. In general, never engage in tasks which may require high level of mental focus as well as attention.

While you are under this medication plan, never change posture in a fast manner. All changes in postures – say, from a sleeping posture to a standing pose or vice versa – need to be done in a slow and steady fashion. It is likely to experience acute spells of headache or severe episodes of migraines. Your doctor may advise intake of sufficient amounts of water to reduce the intensity of these discomforts. Drinking ample amounts of water can also help keep away another common side effect – dehydration. This can show up in the form of dryness of mouth, parching of skin, etc. The best remedy to manage such spells is to suck ice cubes or a candy (sugar-free).

Safety precautions to be taken while consuming cyproheptadine

Your treating doctor and / or pharmacist may keep you aware of the precautions you are likely to take – especially, prior to the commencement of the medication plan. These precautions become very important if you are consuming this drug as an over the counter med. Cyproheptadine can be bought without your treating doctor’s prescription. Such a self-medication route may require a few added precautions. Tell your pharmacist if you are breastfeeding or nursing a newly born infant. Also, those who have prior renal conditions or those who live with marked drop in filtration rates of kidneys must tell their pharmacist about such conditions.

It is not recommended to take this drug as an over the counter option – especially, if you are living with any of the above conditions or any other pre-existing ailments. People whose family history includes incidence of epileptic seizures or fits must keep away from this drug. Also, those with prostate conditions or ulcers / intestinal blockages (along with internal bleeding) and changes in inner eye pressure levels (or those living with glaucoma) must check with a qualified medical practitioner prior to starting your treatment.

Safer intake of doses of cyproheptadine

The dosage plan can be pursued either before or after a meal. Talk to your treating doctor and take needful inputs about the duration of your medication plan. Never stop taking the doses when you witness a brief spell of relief from allergies. People who stopped taking cyproheptadine – i.e., without informing their doctor – experienced a relapse of allergic discomforts. So, always continue your treatment plan – as advised by your caregiving team. You need to be very careful while taking the doses; owing to high level of potency of this drug – doses never exceed beyond 4 mg. In fact, the maximum dosage for adults is maintained at 4 mg. For children or teens, doses never exceed 2 mg.

Elders or older patients are more likely to develop hypersensitivity to cyproheptadine. So, people aged 55 years and above are advised to consume not more than 2 mg within a 24-hour timeline. Upon taking larger doses, elderly people may develop acute levels of dizziness as well as drowsiness. It is also likely to witness falls as well as a complete loss of coordination. When older people are witnessing excessive dizziness, it is highly recommended to take needful medical attention from a healthcare setting – such as a hospital or a clinic. If the signs are severe – those living in the US can call 911 or the helpdesk of food and drug administration (FDA). In Canada, you may consider reaching out to Health Canada or go to a poison control center located nearer to where you live.

Also, remember that cyproheptadine is sold as syrup (i.e., a liquid variant) or as a tablet. Tablets are to be taken with 3 to 4 ounces of liquids. You can either take it with water or juices; however, never take caffeinated drinks or carbonated fluids. While taking the syrup form, always use the measuring scoop provided along with the pack. You must stay away from using a kitchen ladle or spoon. Such practices are considered as extremely unsafe and may lead to an overdosed condition.

Intake of cyproheptadine along with other meds and possible adverse reactions

In general, drugs are known to interact adversely when taken along with / co-administered with other drugs. Hence, it becomes essential to inform your treating physician and /or pharmacist about drugs you are currently taking or treatment plans you are presently pursuing. It is equally important to make a list of all the meds you are taking; while you are compiling this list, care to add over the counter drugs, prescription meds, herbal aids, dietary supplements as well as vitamins.

If you are taking drugs such as melatonin along with cyproheptadine, you need to be aware of the side effects. Foremost of all, you are likely to experience excessive levels of sleepiness, drowsiness, etc. You may feel lethargic due to the sedative effects of both these drugs. Those with prior episodes of convulsions or epileptic fits must take added caution and stay away from using these two drugs together. Similarly, intake of trazodone and cyproheptadine is likely to cause sleepiness and can make you feel very drowsy.

So, while taking any of these drugs – i.e., trazodone or melatonin along with cyproheptadine – never pursue tasks requiring mental focus and a high level of concentration. You may also need to stay away from doing tasks such as cycling, driving or working on heavy equipment. Also, stay aware that larger doses of any of these drugs may seriously impair your reasoning, logical thinking capabilities as well as your motor function.

Last but not least, reagents used for diagnostic tests in clinical labs – especially, blood related testing – can react adversely to this drug; the test results can often be misleading. It becomes essential to tell personnel at the clinical lab about your dosage plan of cyproheptadine. Your treating doctor may advise you to discontinue the intake of this drug at last for a week prior to the lab test.

In sum, not all types of antihistamine drugs possess the same capabilities. A few drugs form part of a sub-category called sedation-causing antihistamine meds. Cyproheptadine comes under this sub-genre of antihistamines. It is essential to understand that this drug is sold as a tablet and as a liquid. Tablets are never to be crushed or powdered. Instead, pills are to be swallowed along with water or juices. Those who take the syrup form must use the spoon / ladle provided in the pack. Those who took the liquid form with a kitchen ladle or a household spoon faced risks of overdose due to inaccurate measurements. To gain a better understanding of cyproheptadine, its side effects and safe use – talk to your caregiving team prior to starting your treatment plan.

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