Meds and you

27 September 2013


It is used to prevent and relieve symptoms of hay fever, skin allergies, itchy eyes, insect bites and stings, as well as swelling that results from allergic reactions.


Brompheniramine is the active ingredient of Brompheniramine and is not available as a free-standing product. It is one of the active ingredients of Dimetapp Paed Elixer (Nappi Code: 704121-001).

General information

Brompheniramine is an antihistamine drug. It is used to prevent and relieve symptoms of hay fever, skin allergies, itchy eyes, insect bites and stings, as well as swelling that results from allergic reactions. Brompheniramine is also effective in drying up a post-nasal drip.

In South Africa it is used in some cold and flu preparations.

Caution is advised as this medication may cause severe drowsiness.

How does brompheniramine work?

When you are exposed to an allergen - something you are allergic to - your body reacts by producing a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms that we associate with allergy. Brompheniramine is an antihistamine, meaning that it counteracts the action of histamine to help relieve you of the symptoms of allergy.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2

What does it do? Brompheniramine has anti-allergy properties and dries up a runny nose.

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is brompheniramine available on prescription only? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 30 minutes

Duration of action: up to 6 hours

Stopping this medicine: treatment with this medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have difficulty urinating
  • you have glaucoma
  • you have a peptic ulcer
  • you have acute asthma
  • you have epilepsy

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breastmilk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose. Caution is however advised as they may be more sensitive to side effects.

The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.

Driving and hazardous work: this medication should be avoided as it may cause extreme sedation.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may increase sedation and other symptoms of central nervous system depression. Alcohol may also increase the likelihood of gastro-intestinal side effects.

Possible side effects

Side effects Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
drowsiness x
dry mouth,nose or throat
x x
x x
loss of appetite
x x
difficulty urinating
extreme fatigue
irritability/ excitability
fever/ chills
blurred vision
skin rash


Drug interactions:

barbiturates potential for enhanced sedation
benodiazepines potential for enhanced sedation
hypnotics potential for enhanced sedation
sedatives potential for enhanced sedation
barbiturates potential for enhanced sedation

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have difficulty urinating, an enlarged prostate, glaucoma, sleep apnoea, liver disease, or if you have epilepsy.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.


This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.


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