Antihistamine drug cyproheptadine blocks the sensors causing allergic reactions. As a result, you can find relief from symptoms of allergies – such as sneezing, runny nose, tearful eyes, soreness of throat, etc. It also blocks serotonin as an extended side effect. Foremost of all, cyproheptadine is a first-generation antihistamine. The serotonin blocking property makes it a stimulant of appetite. Owing to this, it is used for helping weight gain – especially among children who are moderately underweight and / or malnourished. But, it is a safe practice to know more details about this extended benefit of this antihistamine – before starting to take it.

Cyproheptadine is known for its two significant properties – (1) as a histamine antagonist and (2) as a serotonin antagonist. As an antihistamine – this med helps control discomforts (linked to allergies). Common allergic discomforts are runny nose, inflammation of body parts, runny nose, etc. Its serotonin blocking capabilities are known to trigger appetite among users. Children who are living with conditions such as anorexia or other eating related problems are advised to take this drug. Upon giving cyproheptadine to children with bodyweight issues or eating disorders, a few side effects are likely to show up. It is important to know more about these side effects and take adequate precautions.

Side effects of cyproheptadine when taken for boosting appetite levels

Like most drugs, this med may also cause a few adverse or undesired side effects. These include – excessive levels of sleepiness, feeling very dizzy, headaches or migraines, feeling anxious or very nervous. Your child may also witness a sudden increase in weight, triggered by a marked increase in appetite level. In some people, intake of cyproheptadine has led to dehydration – which may show up in the form of drying of lips as well as parching of tongue.

This drug is unlikely to cause any acute discomforts; however – in some one-off instances, some users have reported severe discomforts. Some of these acute signs may include rashes on the skin, problems while peeing, being excessively agitated, erratic heartbeats and respiratory problems. This drug is never given to children who have prior allergies and / or hypersensitivity to this drug and its active chemicals.

A few precautions to be taken prior to consuming cyproheptadine

Those who are being tested for allergies must decrease the dosage level of cyproheptadine. It is a standard practice to discontinue this med at least for a week prior to opting for such a battery of tests. Also, those who live with prior ailments or clinical conditions – such as glaucoma, increase in pressure levels in the eye, respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and / or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) must never take this med. This drug may also make you very sensitive to sun’s rays or sunlight. It becomes important to use sunscreen or needful protective clothing prior to stepping out of your home. As an added precaution, never visit tanning booths; such visits may trigger blisters or rashes on your skin. Talk to your dermatologist (or a skin doctor) to understand the likely ways you can protect your skin from possible damages. Always remember that this drug is not given to premature babies or newly born infants.

Dosages of cyproheptadine

This drug is available as pills and as syrup (i.e., a liquid variant). The typical dose is usually taken twice or thrice within a 24-hour timeline. Those using the liquid variant need to be careful with the dosages; usage of a household ladle to measure the syrup have led to episodes of an overdose of cyproheptadine. Hence, it is highly recommended to use the measuring cup or the dosage spoon provided along with the pack.

Never share this medicine to a sibling or a family member who has the same type of eating disorders or weight related issues. This is because – the dosage plan of two individuals is seldom the same. Your dosages may depend on your bodyweight, age as well as how efficiently your body absorbs the active ingredients of cyproheptadine. If your child is not eating properly or is continuing to have weight problems – after taking this drug for a few weeks – talk to your doctor / pharmacist without any further delay.

Upon sensing acute discomforts such as seizures, fits or convulsions, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor on an emergency mode. It is equally important to remember that the aforesaid side effects do not form an entire list. There can however be a few side effects which are not listed here. Those who encounter any unknown or unlisted discomforts and side effects are advised to take needful clinical support. People living in the US may reach out to 911 quickly or ring the helpline of the food and drug administration (FDA). It is essential to know that FDA runs a helpline that tracks adverse reactions of drugs it has approved. On the other hand, those who are residents of any of the Canadian provinces can either call Health Canada or take needful medical help from a poison control center operating closer to where you live.

Women who are planning to become pregnant must talk to their doctor prior to taking cyproheptadine. It is a good practice to use contraceptives while taking this drug. Women who are breastfeeding may need to be aware that its active ingredients can get into mother’s milk. Infants who feed on such milk may develop sleeping disorders and / or eating problems. As a general safety measure, nursing women are advised not to take cyproheptadine.

In sum, cyproheptadine is prescribed to people (especially, children and younger adults) living with anorexia or a few eating problems. A few side effects may develop. Typical side effects are sleepiness, feeling dizzy or abdominal problems like vomiting and nausea. These discomforts may go away as you proceed ahead with your medication plan. If these side effects do not disappear after say, 5 or 7 days, it is important to talk to the treating doctor as soon as you possibly can. Those living in the US can call 911; while residents of Canada can reach out to Health Canada or rush to a local poison control center for needful clinical support.

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