Chlorpheniramine and Drowsiness

by Josh M PharmD

Can chlorpheniramine cause drowsiness?  Does use of this first generation allergy medication make you tired and sleepy?

The risk is there, but from my experience it often does not cause drowsiness.  The 4mg tablets used about every 8 hours usually does not result in people being overly tired.

Chlorpheniramine can cause drowsiness, so you should be careful when starting the medication.  After using a few doses, one should know whether or not they get sleepy from the allergy medicine.



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If you can not tolerate chlorpheniramine maleate, there are plenty of other options.  Consider trying on of the three popular non-drowsy options:  Cetirizine, Loratadine and fexofenadine.   All three are newer antihistamines and tend to have fewer side effects in most people.  Plus, there are more options available with a prescription from your doctor.

Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist is you are not sure what you should take for your allergies.  And, be certain to speak with a health care provider if you are having bothersome side effects with any medications you are using.

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