Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Clemastine

Clemastine (also known as meclastin) is an antihistamine drug.

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Clemastine is the active ingredient of Tavegyl.

General Information

Clemastine (also known as meclastin) is an antihistamine drug. It is used to prevent and relieve symptoms of hay fever, skin allergies, itchy eyes, insect bytes and stings, as well as swelling that is the result of an allergic reaction. Clemastine is also effective in drying up a post-nasal drip.

Caution is advised as this medication may cause severe drowsiness.

How does clemastine 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. Clemastine 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: clemastine is available as tablets and syrup

What does it do? clemastine has anti-allergy properties

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is clemastine available as a generic? no

Is clemastine available on prescription only? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 60 minutes

Duration of action: up to 12 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 expected; 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: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is safe to use at the recommended doses; 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 drowsiness.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may increase severe drowsiness and other symptoms of central nervous system depression. Alcohol may also increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

drowsiness

x

x

dry mouth, throat or nose

x

x

dizziness

x

x

nausea/ vomiting

x

x

headache

x

x

fatigue

x

x

irritability

x

x

diarrhoea/ constipation

x

x

confusion/ hallucinations

x

x

convulsions

x

x

blurred vision

x

x

difficulty urinating

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

barbiturates

potential for enhanced sedation

benzodiazepines

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

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

Recommended dosage

Adults: 1 mg twice daily

Children 1-4 years: 0.25-0.5 mg twice daily.

Children 4-12 years: 0.5-1 mg twice daily.

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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