DOXYLAMINE SUCCINATE

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Unisom Sleep Aid

GENERIC NAME(S): DOXYLAMINE SUCCINATE

 

Description: Doxylamine is an antihistamine that works by depressing the brain to produce drowsiness. This medication works by blocking certain natural substances (histamine, acetylcholine) that your body makes.
Pharmacokinetics: 
Absorption: Plasma concentrations peak 2-3 hr after oral admin.

Indications:

Doxylamine is an antihistamine, used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. This effect helps to relieve allergy/cold symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.

Contraindications:

Should not be given to patients with:

  • known hypersensitivity to doxylamine
  • monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors intensify and prolong the adverse effects of doxylamine.

How to use doxylamine succinate:

  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food. Follow the directions for dosing on the label, or take as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.
  • If you are using the chewable form of this medication, chew thoroughly and then swallow.
  • If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
  • Do not take more medication than recommended or take it more often without consulting your doctor. Your dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy.

Not available.

Common side effects:

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

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

Precautions:

  • Allergy: Before taking doxylamine, 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 products may contain sugar.
  • 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.

Pregnancy risk:  Category A. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.

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

Interactions:

  • Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray), antispasmodics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids), drugs for Parkinson’s disease (e.g., anticholinergics such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), 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), medicines 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 take for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.

Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all products 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.

Brands:

Also marketed as

  • Unisom [ Johnson & Johnson ]

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