Antihistamines are drugs used for bringing needful relief from allergies. Most commonly experienced allergies include itchiness, runny nose, skin problems such as hives, episodes of sneezing, etc. These drugs are known to control the production of chemicals called histamines; these are naturally-made substances – produced as and when your body encounters an allergen. Cyproheptadine hydrochloride is one such antihistamine med; it is used for treating signs of allergies; as an added benefit, this drug can help inhibit serotonin – a substance that transmits essential signals to the brain as well as the central nervous system (CNS). Does this drug help increase bodyweight? You need to know about this property prior to starting your treatment plan.

Histamines are substances your body makes upon sensing a threat from an allergy-causing agent. Such agents include pollen, mites, dust, microbial particles, etc. Histamines make your body to develop resistive symptoms such as itchiness, incessant episodes of sneezing, skin conditions like rashes and wetness of eyes or a runny nose. As per clinical studies, nearly 9% of people living in the US encounter conditions such as allergic rhinitis every year. Histamines such as cyproheptadine hydrochloride are used for inhibiting the aforesaid allergic reactions. The active ingredients of this drug can also control neuro-transmitting chemicals such as serotonin to bring about needful relief from allergic symptoms.

This drug is available both as pills as well as in a liquid form. The typical dose is twice each day; however, in some acute allergic conditions, doses are administered thrice within a 24-hour timespan. Your caregiver may advise you to take the med before or after a meal. In case of the liquid form, it is highly recommended to measure each dosage with the measuring ladle or device. Such a measuring ladle is provided along with the pack. It is not a safe practice to take a kitchen spoon for measurements; this can often lead to an overdose of cyproheptadine hydrochloride.

Does cyproheptadine hydrochloride lead to weight gain ?

An off-label use of this drug is its ability to boost appetite levels. As a result, it is used for people who wish to gain weight. Those who are living with cystic fibrosis may have an internal protrusion of membranes in their rectum. Such prolapse can cause malnutrition as well as difficulties to pass stools.
Cyproheptadine hydrochloride helps stimulate appetite levels and make you crave for more foods. This drug is also used among children who waste foods or those who live with anorexia – an eating disorder. Due to its ability to control serotonin levels, it is also used to control toxicity induced by the excessive intake of selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) drugs. You need to be watchful while taking SSRIs because of the likely incidence of carcinoid tumors – when toxic levels of serotonin get into your bloodstream.

Cyproheptadine hydrochloride may cause sedation; owing to which, this drug is also used for sleeping disorders. The dosage levels are highly restricted due to these effects. In general, dosages hover in the range of 5 to 7 milligrams (mg). Beware of other side effects or adverse reactions cyproheptadine hydrochloride is likely to cause; these include feeling sleepy, getting confused, dizziness or spells of vertigo, abdominal discomforts such as vomiting or nausea.

The good thing about cyproheptadine hydrochloride is its relatively low half-life of about 7.5 hours – when taken as an oral drug. Owing to which, it is absorbed within a shorter span of time – of say, about 2 hours or less than 120 minutes. As a result, very high level of concentration in plasma is observed under 150 minutes (less than 3 hours) from the time of oral intake.

Precautions needed prior to taking cyproheptadine hydrochloride

Your dosage plan varies based on a lot of factors – key among them are, your clinical condition, age, gender and also how well your system responds to this drug. Never take this drug at doses larger than what are prescribed. Among younger adults or those aged less than 18 years, dosage plan depends on size of your body as well as bodyweight.

You may encounter a few adverse reactions like drying of mouth, blurring of eyesight as well as excessive levels of dizziness. If you feel dehydrated, suck ice chips or sugarless candies; you may also use your saliva as an alternative. The best approach to fight dehydration is to drink ample amount of water every time you feel dry or thirsty. Never drink alcohol while taking cyproheptadine hydrochloride; this is likely to result in excessive levels of dizziness. Also, never drive or work on heavy machines, soon after taking this drug. Those with prior conditions of dizziness may need to change postures slowly – i.e., while changing from a sitting posture to a standing position or vice versa; do such changes in a steady manner.

Cyproheptadine hydrochloride is unlikely to cause major side effects. However, in some remote cases, it is likely to cause acute conditions like erratic heartbeats, mood shifts, shakes, depression, problems faced while peeing, etc. If these adverse effects persist for more than a few days, talk to your treating physician and seek needful medical help. In one-off instances, users have experienced fits, convulsions or epileptic seizures. People who are living with such problems or those who are taking anticonvulsants or anti-seizure meds are advised not to take cyproheptadine hydrochloride. It is a safe practice to talk to your treating doctor and / or pharmacist prior to starting your treatment.

Moreover, it is a good practice to share information about the drugs you are currently taking. Your medical practitioner may recommend you to make a list of all meds as well as treatment plans you are pursuing. While you make this list, care to include over the counter drugs – if any, prescription meds, vitamins, supplements – dietary or herbal, etc., as part of the list. Once having shared the list, never alter or stop taking the meds in it; if such changes are being made, keep your caregiver informed of such alterations in a timely manner.

In sum, cyproheptadine hydrochloride can boost your appetite levels and make you eat more. Owing to this, it is used to treat those with anorexia or to manage eating problems among children. As the drug may alter the making of brain chemicals – especially, serotonin – you are advised to take it in moderation. Always remember that cyproheptadine hydrochloride is used for weight gain purposes as an off-label use. Hence, always talk to your treating doctor prior to taking this drug if you are living with a poor appetite or other eating disorders.

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