Updated 11 February 2013


Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine drug.


(Also known as chlorphenamine)

Chlorpheniramine is the active ingredient of Allergex and Rhineton.

Chlorpheniramine is also one of multiple active ingredients found in Asalen, Colcaps, Colcleer, Colstat, Corbar Linctus, Coryx, Degoran C, Degoran, Demazin, Dequa-Flu, Dilinct Cough and Cold, Dristan, Endcol, Famucaps, Flu-Stat, Flusin C, Flusin, Flutex, Histacon, Histamed Ci, Ilvico, Kiddyflu, Merck-Flu, Rinex, Sinucon and Sinumax.

General Information

Chlorpheniramine 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. Chlorpheniramine is also effective in drying up a post-nasal drip.

Caution is advised, as this medication may cause severe drowsiness.

How does chlorpheniramine work?

When you are exposed to an allergen - something you are allergic to - your body reacts by producing chemical called histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms that we associate with allergy. Chlorpheniramine 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

Available as: Chlorpheniramine is available as tablets and syrup

What does it do? Chlorpheniramine has anti-allergenic properties

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Is chlorpheniramine available as a generic? No

Is chlorpheniramine available on prescription only? No

User information

Onset of effect: Within 60 minutes

Duration of action: Up to 6 hours

Dietary advice: This medication must best be taken with food, milk or water to avoid gastrointestinal irritation. Chewing gum may help to relieve the associated dry mouth.

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

Prolonged use: No problems are anticipated; the effect of the medication may wane with prolonged use.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have difficulty urinating
  • you have an enlarged prostate
  • you have glaucoma
  • you have sleep apnoea
  • you have liver disease
  • you have epilepsy
  • you are taking other medications.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: This medication is considered safe to use.

Infants and children: This medication is safe to use at the recommended doses; caution is however advised, as children may be more sensitive to side effects

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 gastrointestinal side effects.

Possible side effects

Side effect


Consult your doctor



Only if severe

In all cases




Dry mouth, throat or nose






Loss of appetite



Difficulty urinating



Extreme Fatigue



Irritability / excitability



Fever / chills






Blurred vision



Skin rash




Drug interactions:


Potential for enhanced sedation


Potential for enhanced sedation


Potential for enhanced sedation


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

An overdose of this medication can be serious. Seek immediate emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include seizure, extreme drowsiness and coma.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 4 mg 3-4 times daily

Children 6-12 months: 1 mg twice daily

Children 1-5 years: 1-2 mg 3 times daily

Children 6-12 years: 2-4 mg 3-4 times daily.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Coffee and wine for the win! »

Could heartburn drugs upset your 'good' gut bacteria? Life is a gut reaction

Good news! Coffee & wine may promote a healthy gut

Diverse bacteria help your gut stay healthy. Here's how what you eat and drink can help or harm that balance - and it's not all bad news.

I gave hubby HIV »

Giving babies antibodies promptly may eliminate HIV Vaginal ring to prevent HIV on the cards

I gave my husband HIV and watched him die

Stephanie van Niekerk unwittingly infected her husband with HIV and ended up having to watch him wither and die in front of her very eyes. This is Stephanie's story in her own words.