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Chlorphenamine

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VOL: 101, ISSUE: 32, PAGE NO: 31

Generic and proprietary names

Generic and proprietary names
- Chlorphenamine.

- Piriton.

- Also present in many over-the-counter allergy, cough and decongestant preparations.

Action
- Competes with histamine for H1 receptor sites and reduces allergic response by blocking histamine.

Classification
- Antihistamines.

- Sedating antihistamines.

Indications

- Relief of allergy symptoms such as hay fever, and urticaria.

- Emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions in conjunction with adrenalin.

Contraindications
- Previous hypersensitivity.

Cautions
- Prostatic hypertrophy.

- Urinary retention.

- Glaucoma.

- Pyloroduodenal obstruction.

- Hepatic disease.

- Renal impairment.

- Epilepsy.

Common side-effects
- Drowsiness.

- Headache.

- Psychomotor impairment.

- Urinary retention.

- Dry mouth.

- Blurred vision.

- Gastrointestinal problems.

Other side-effects
- Injection may cause transient hypotension or central nervous system (CNS) stimulation and may be irritant.

- Palpitations/arrythmias.

- Hypotension.

- Hypersensitivity reactions.

- Extrapyramidal effects.

- Dizziness and confusion.

- Sleep disturbances.

- Blood disorders.

- Liver dysfunction.

Interactions
- Sedation increased by alcohol.

- Increased CNS depression with barbiturates, opiates, hypnotics and tricyclics.

- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors may increase side-effects.

- Increased anticholinergic action with atropine, quinidine, phenothiazine and haloperidol.

Administration
- Subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.

- Tablets.

- Syrup or oral solution.

Patient teaching
- Ensure patients are warned that this medication may cause drowsiness and that if they are affected they should not drive or operate machinery.

- Advise patients to avoid alcohol as this may increase the medication's sedative effects.

- Drowsiness may improve after a few days of treatment.

- In allergy management patients should also be advised to limit exposure to the allergen.

- Patients should be made aware that many over-the- counter medications may contain chlorphenamine.

- This medication can be safely stopped when symptoms have shown signs of improvement.

Nursing considerations
- Patients vary in their response to sedating antihistamines and there is little evidence that one is superior to another.

- Children and older people may be more susceptible to side-effects.

- Evaluate therapeutic response.

Nurses should refer to manufacturer's summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines

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