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Dexchlorpheniramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold.

Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024

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What is Dexchlorpheniramine?  

Dexchlorpheniramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, cough, runny nose, and sneezing. It is the active S-enantiomer of chlorpheniramine, which means it offers similar therapeutic effects but often with fewer side effects. 

The drug works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Its molecular structure allows it to prevent histamine from binding to its receptors, thereby reducing symptoms. 

Global Name

The generic name is dexchlorpheniramine maleate, commonly available under the brand name Dextromine, Polmon and Polaramine among others.


What is Dexchlorpheniramine used for? 

Dexchlorpheniramine is employed in the treatment of: 

  • Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. 
  • Allergic conjunctivitis. 
  • Mild, uncomplicated allergic skin manifestations of urticaria and angioedema. 
  • Amelioration of the severity of allergic reactions to blood or plasma. 

How do you use Dexchlorpheniramine?  


Dexchlorpheniramine is available primarily in tablet form and syrup for oral use. 

Dosage information:

  • Adults: 2 mg every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 12 mg per day. 
  • Children (6 years and older): 1 mg every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 6 mg per day. 
  • Elderlies: Due to an increased risk of dizziness and sedation, dosage should be reduced. 

Are the following suitable to take the drug: Children, adults, elderlies? 

  • Children: Suitable for children over 6 years with adjusted dosage. 
  • Adults: Suitable. 
  • Elderlies: Suitable with caution and adjusted dosage.

Is there anyone who can’t take Dexchlorpheniramine? 

  • Children: Not recommended for children under 6 years. 
  • Adults: Those with narrow-angle glaucoma, urinary retention, severe high blood pressure, or severe coronary artery disease should avoid it. 
  • Elderlies: Use with caution; more prone to side effects such as dizziness and hypotension. 
  • Pregnancy: Consult a healthcare provider; not recommended as a first-line treatment. 
  • Lactation: Not recommended as it may pass into breast milk. 

Allergies: Individuals allergic to dexchlorpheniramine or other antihistamines should avoid this medication. 


Warnings and Precautions:

  • Caution advised if you have asthma, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, thyroid dysfunction, or difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland. 
  • Dexchlorpheniramine should be taken with or without food but take consistently to ensure the best effect. 

Drug and Food/Beverage Interactions

Avoid alcohol as it can increase side effects. Dexchlorpheniramine can interact with central nervous system depressants, sedatives, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, and other antihistamines. It is contraindicated in individuals with previous hypersensitivity reactions to the drug. 

Side Effects

Possible side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, blurred vision, or dry mouth/nose/throat. Severe side effects may include mood changes, difficulty urinating, heart palpitations, hallucinations and seizures. 


Pharmacist Tips

Storage information:

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. 
Handling instructions:

Do not handle the tablets with wet hands and avoid exposure to air for long periods.



Where is Dexchlorpheniramine available in Hong Kong?

Dexchlorpheniramine is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can be sold without a prescription. It is found in all chain drug stores, including Mannings and Watsons.



Can I drive or operate heavy machinery after taking Dexchlorpheniramine? 

It is best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery as dexchlorpheniramine can cause drowsiness. 

How long does it take for Dexchlorpheniramine to work? 

It generally starts to work within 30 minutes of ingestion. 

Can Dexchlorpheniramine be taken daily for allergies? 

Yes, it can be taken daily but should not be used for long term without consulting a healthcare provider. 

Is Dexchlorpheniramine safe with alcohol?  

No, combining it with alcohol can increase adverse side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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