BROMPHENIRAMIN

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Lodrane, Vazol

GENERIC NAME(S): BROMPHENIRAMINE MALEATE

 

Description: Brompheniramine is an antihistamine with antimuscarinic and moderate sedative actions. By blocking another natural substance made by your body (acetylcholine), it helps dry up some body fluids to relieve symptoms such as watery eyes and runny nose.

Indications

Brompheniramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat/skin, cough, runny nose, and sneezing.

How to use brompheniramine

Dosage:

Immediate Release: 4 mg to 8 mg orally every 6 hours as needed. The duration of action varies from patient to patient. Many patients will require dosing only twice daily.

Extended Release: 6 mg to 12 mg extended release orally twice daily as needed. The duration of action varies from patient to patient. Many patients will require dosing only once a day, preferably at bedtime to avoid drowsiness.

Maximum oral dose 24 mg/day.

  • Take the tablet, capsule, or liquid form by mouth with or without food or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.
  • If you are taking extended-release capsules, swallow them whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
  • If you are using chewable tablets, chew the tablet thoroughly before swallowing.
  • If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.

Common side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • constipation
  • stomach upset
  • blurred vision
  • decreased coordination
  • dry mouth/nose/throat

To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute. Brompheniramine can dry up and thicken mucus in your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and clear your lungs. To help prevent this effect, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations, irritability, nervousness, confusion),
  • ringing in the ears,
  • trouble urinating.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizure.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Precautions

  • Allergy: Before taking brompheniramine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Medical History: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you had: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema), a certain eye problem (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease, seizures, stomach problems (e.g., ulcers, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), urination problems (e.g., trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention).
  • Liquid and chewable forms of this medication may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Liquid products may also contain alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, low blood pressure, confusion, constipation, or trouble urinating. Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
  • Children may be more sensitive to the effects of antihistamines. In young children, this medication may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness.

Pregnancy Risk: Category C. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Breastfeeding: Based on information from related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

 

Interactions

  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray), antispasmodics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), drugs for Parkinson’s disease (e.g., anticholinergics such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl), scopolamine, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline).
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Symptoms of overdose may include: large pupils, flushing, fever, hallucinations, weakness, shaking (tremor), muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, seizures. In children, excitement may occur first, and may be followed by loss of coordination, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, seizures.

Notes: Do not share this medication with others.

Do not take for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.

Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from moisture and light. Store in a tightly closed container. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

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