Allergic rhinitis is a reaction characterized by sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, etc. This condition may show up when you are exposed to airborne impurities or allergens such as pollens or pet dander. Antihistamines are drugs used for treating these allergic reactions. Cyproheptadine is one such antihistamine which also has a few added benefits. This drug is used for treating skin allergies like irritation, rashes or inflammation. It is important to note that cyproheptadine is used for treating the signs of allergies and not the underlying cause. Can you take the pills as an over the counter (OTC) med? It is a wise thing to know more about this.

Antihistamines are drugs which inhibit your body from making anti-allergic reactions through the production of histamines. The key function of this genre of drugs is to prevent histamines from getting associated with sensors and keep them away from triggering allergic reactions. These reactions include incessant spells of sneezing, secretion of tears from your eyes, itchiness, reddening of eyes as well as an increase in body temperature. In some cases, people may turn allergic to climatic conditions – for example, living in very cold / hot weather conditions may trigger the production of histamines.

What is cyproheptadine?

Cyproheptadine is a popular antihistamine; it is used for the suppression of histamines. This drug helps avoid allergic conditions such as itchiness, runny nose, etc. It is also used for the management of Cushing’s syndrome; a medical condition triggered by an overproduction of hormones. The drug is made available both as a pill as well as a liquid variant (a syrup form). Regardless of the form, dosages are taken twice or thrice within a 24-hour timespan. If you are taking the liquid variant, you need to carefully measure each dose with a spoon offered along with the pack. You must never use a kitchen ladle for measurements; this can amount to an overdose.

Can I get cyproheptadine as an over the counter drug?

Within the class of antihistamines, a few drugs are known to cause sedative effects. Such drugs are called sedation-inducing antihistamines. Cyproheptadine comes under the sub-genre of meds. You can use for treating allergic reactions triggered by insect-bites, exposure to dust particles, fur or pollen grains. The active ingredients of cyproheptadine can help manage conditions like hay fever and similar allergic conditions.

Cyproheptadine can be procured without a prescription; in other words, it is available as an over the counter (OTC) drug. If you are taking the drug through self-medication, you need to know if you are already pregnant, living with any renal or hepatic disorders, ocular conditions such as glaucoma, etc. People with such conditions are not advised to take this drug as it may only worsen such pre-existing ailments. Those who have problems such as convulsions / fits or epileptic seizures, internal blocks or ulcerous conditions or prostate related problems must never take cyproheptadine as an over the counter drug. Intake of this drug along with such disorders may lead to fatal outcomes. In general, it is essential to consult with your treating doctor prior to taking sedation-inducing antihistamines like cyproheptadine.

Dosages of cyproheptadine

You can take the doses either prior or after a meal. Dosages must never be stopped soon after experiencing a brief spell of relief from allergic symptoms. An untimely discontinuation of the dosage plan may lead to recurrence of the same allergic reactions. Hence, it is highly recommended to continue taking the pills only after all the discomforts cease to exist. In general, dosages vary from 2 milligrams (mg) to as high as 4 mg within a day. Two mg dose is offered to children aged between 3 to 7 years; for teens and younger adults, the dosage is maintained in between 2 to 4 mg – taken twice each day. However, for adults – the dosage value is increased to three times each day and each dosage is maintained at the 4 mg level. Upon starting your medication plan, you are likely to witness a few improvements or reduction in allergic reactions. If you do not witness such relief, it is a good practice to consult with a qualified medical practitioner or a pharmacist without much delay.

Precautions to be observed while you are self-medicating with cyproheptadine

There are a few safety measures you need to take if you are taking cyproheptadine as an over the counter product. Foremost of all – you need to be aware that this drug may make you dizzy. It can be harmful to engage in adventurous tasks such as say, driving, working with complex tools or heavy machinery as well as sporting activities like cycling, swimming or jumping. Those who are opting for a few diagnostic tests – especially, blood samples related tests – must tell the lab personnel about the intake of cyproheptadine. As a safety measure, intake of cyproheptadine may need to be stopped for a few days prior to going for a test. This precaution is needed because – the drug and its active ingredients can alter the results of a few lab tests.

You may also witness spells of migraines or acute headaches while taking this drug. In such cases, your pharmacist may advise intake of excessive amounts of fluids such as water. Never take fluids that are carbonated or those high on caffeine content. Another discomfort which some people may develop includes dehydration – these can show up as drying of skin, parching of lips or tongue. In such instances, it is a safe practice to chew a sugar-free gum or suck ice cubes / sugarless candies.

In sum, cyproheptadine is a sedation-causing antihistamine drug; it can be procured as an over the counter (OTC) med. However, you need to take this drug in moderation. The typical dosage range is from 2 mg to 4 mg. Based on your age, pre-existing ailments and prior allergies – dosages may vary. Though this drug is available as an OTC med, it is always a safe practice to talk to a qualified clinical practitioner and / or pharmacist prior to starting your treatment plan.

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