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Effect of Chlorpheniramine during pregnancy

Chlorpheniramine is a type of antihistamine medication. Antihistamine medications can help to relieve a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing by reducing the amount of histamines in your body. This medication is widely used for a cough, cold and allergic conditions. In Malaysia, there are various brands for chlorpheniramine such as Alleryl and Axcel Chlorpheniramine. Chlorpheniramine is a prescription medication in Malaysia, which can only be prescribed by your doctor if you need it. In the healthcare settings, medications given during pregnancy are highly selective, due to the possible adverse effect towards the fetus. Therefore, chlorpheniramine which belongs to the antihistamine medication is used with care during the pregnancy, given that the benefit outweighs the risks.

During the pregnancy, there are some common pregnancy-related conditions such as a cough, cold, allergic conditions, pain and gastrointestinal conditions. These conditions are treatable with various medications. However, there is catch-22, as we do not know the effects of chlorpheniramine during the pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes the risk of medication to the fetus. There are 5 categories, which are A, B, C, D and X. Chlorpheniramine falls in the category B. Chlorpheniramine does not have an effect towards the fetus in animal studies, but there is not controlled studies done on a human. Therefore, the effect of the medication on a human is unknown.

A cough, cold and allergy are common among pregnant ladies, especially during the first trimester. Although these conditions are mild, leaving them untreated can be uncomfortable for the pregnant lady. In most cases, a pregnant lady is encouraged to try treating the cold without medication, using saline nasal spray, humidifier or drink more water. If the conditions do not improve, then they need antihistamine medication. There are two major types of antihistamine medications in the market, which are the first generation medication and second-generation medication. In clinical practice, the first generation antihistamine medications are safe during pregnancy. First generation antihistamine medications include chlorpheniramine, dexchlorpheniramine, cyproheptadine and hydroxyzine. Among the first generation antihistamine, chlorpheniramine is the first choice of antihistamine to use among doctors. According to the collaborative perinatal project, there is no risk of fetal malformations associated with use of chlorpheniramine during pregnancy. Besides that, various studies recommend the usage of the first-generation antihistamine due to their long periods of clinical use and more data available for the medications.

Although chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine medication, some people can be allergic to the medication and develop a life-threatening allergic reaction. Some common side-effects after taking chlorpheniramine include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nose, throat, constipation, blurred vision or feeling nervous. If you experienced these side effects, please find your doctor immediately. In essence, the usage of chlorpheniramine during pregnancy should be discussed with the healthcare professionals. In each pregnant case, the cause of cold, cough or allergy should be determined before medication is taken. This should be followed by a risk/benefit discussion, informing the patient on the medication risk to the fetus and no harmful effect towards fetus are reported. In conclusion, chlorpheniramine is one of the safest antihistamine used in pregnancy if needed.

Read chlorpheniramine answers by DoctorOnCall to know more about this medication.

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