How to Avoid Misuse of Chlorpheniramine

Chlorpheniramine is a medication that belongs to the class of antihistamine. It works against the effect the histamine that occurs naturally in our body. If there is an overproduction of histamine in our body due to an allergic condition, it will cause some allergic symptoms. These allergic symptoms include red eye, itchy eye, watery eye, itchy nose, itchy throat, runny nose and hay fever. Besides the antihistamine effect, it also has some sedative effect. A sedative effect can produce a calm and sleep-promoting effect. Therefore, chlorpheniramine can also help to reduce travel sickness and control anxiety. However, due to this calming effect of chlorpheniramine, some people will misuse this medication and suffers from unwanted side effects of the medication. Common side effects of chlorpheniramine include systemic antihistaminic effects such as dry mouth, throat and nose, constipation, blurred vision, feeling nervous, restless, dizziness and drowsiness. Therefore, we must learn the ways to avoid misuse of chlorpheniramine.

First of all, chlorpheniramine is a prescription medication in Malaysia. It means that this medication can be given by the doctors and pharmacists. Therefore, in the effort of avoiding the misuse of chlorpheniramine, it involves the doctor, pharmacist and patients to play a role in combating non-medical use of prescription drugs. Misuse of chlorpheniramine can include taking the medication more than or longer than the prescription given, taking other’s people medication without the prescription and taking the medication to feel high. In most cases, people who misuse the medication suffer from the unwanted side effects which are reversible by stop taking the medication. In some cases, people will develop addiction towards the chlorpheniramine, overdosage and has a higher risk of death.

From the doctor’s perspective, they have a unique position to combat the misuse of chlorpheniramine. Doctors have access to this medication and prescribe this medication in a safe manner. Using the knowledge, a doctor can take note of their patient’s the increase of frequency,  the medication dosage and unscheduled requests for chlorpheniramine. A doctor should be alert about possible “doctor’s shopping” of the patient to obtain more medication and misusing them. It is also a responsibility as a doctor to reconsider the need for chlorpheniramine with a potential risk of misuse.

As a pharmacist, they can help the patient to comprehend the instructions of taking the chlorpheniramine medication. Pharmacists are the first liners to spot any changes in the patterns of prescription drugs, recognizing the abnormal patterns and alert their colleagues accordingly. Last but not least, the patient, also the consumer of the medication should be aware of the medication they are taking. Other than understanding the uses and side effects of the medication, it is important to avoid other things can interact with the chlorpheniramine medication. For example, alcohol should be avoided when taking chlorpheniramine will increase the side effects of the medication. Patients have the responsibility not to give the medication to other people without the doctor’s advice or prescription. Besides that, they should store the chlorpheniramine in safe places to prevent children from accessing the medication.

In conclusion, the usage of chlorpheniramine is akin to the double-edged sword, in which the correct usage can bring about the therapeutic effect and misusing it can cause harmful effects. Therefore, it a constant effort for all parties to avoid misuse of chlorpheniramine not only in the healthcare settings but as a public effort to educate about the misuse of medication. To know more about chlorpheniramine, you can always click here


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