Piriton Tablets and Syrup are used to relieve the symptoms of allergies such as pet allergies, hay fever, nettle rash, food allergies and reactions to insect stings and bites. Both medicines can also be used to alleviate the itching caused by chickenpox.
Piriton Tablets and Syrup both contain the active ingredient chlorphenamine maleate, a sedating antihistamine.
Both the tablets and syrup are used to alleviate symptoms of allergies that can include: watery, red and irritated eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, skin rash or redness and itching. These medicines are also often used to relieve itching caused by chickenpox, particularly in children.
Piriton Tablets and Syrup contain the active ingredient chlorphenamine maleate. This is a type of medicine known as an antihistamine. Chlorphenamine maleate is classed as a sedating antihistamine, which means it makes you drowsy.
When our bodies react to allergens such as pet fur or pollen, they naturally produce a substance known as histamine. This acts on histamine receptors in the body, causing a chain reaction that leads to allergic symptoms. Piriton Tablets and Syrup can be taken to prevent allergic symptoms from occurring (for example, if you know you will be exposed to an allergen) or to relieve symptoms once they have started.
Chlorphenamine maleate acts on histamine receptors, blocking them and preventing the chain reaction from starting. It usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour to experience relief from symptoms after taking a dose.
Chlorphenamine is known as a sedating antihistamine. This means it enters the brain, resulting in drowsiness. For this reason, Piriton Tablets and Syrup are often used to relieve itching from chickenpox, particularly where the itching gets worse at night. Children in particular tend to notice itching less in the daytime but can find it hard to sleep at night when they have no other distractions.
The most common side effect associated with Piriton Tablets and Syrup is drowsiness, which may be beneficial if you are taking the tablets or syrup to relieve itching at night (e.g. associated with chickenpox).
Other side effects which have been commonly reported include: dry mouth; nausea; blurred vision; headache; dizziness; concentration or co-ordination problems; and, fatigue. Not everyone who takes these medicines will experience side effects as medicine can affect people differently. However, if you are concerned about these or any other side effects, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken them in the last 14 days, you should consult your doctor before taking Piriton Tablets and Syrup, as the anticholinergic properties of chlorphenamine could be enhanced by these medicines.
If you have any of the following health conditions you should consult your doctor before using Piriton Tablets or Syrup: severe hypertension; cardiovascular disease; epilepsy; glaucoma; asthma or bronchiectasis; bronchitis; or, renal or hepatic impairment.
Chlorphenamine may cause dizziness, drowsiness and blurred vision which can seriously impact your ability to use machinery or drive – you should not drive or use heavy machinery when taking these medicines.
You should not use these medicines with any other antihistamines including cough and cold medicines that contain these.
Alcohol consumption should also be avoided when taking these medicines.
You are more likely to experience drowsiness if you take Piriton Tablets or Syrup with any of the following medicines: antipsychotics (such as chlorpromazine); sedating antihistamines; barbiturates such as amobarbital; sleeping tablets; tricyclic antidepressants; or, strong opioid painkillers such as codeine or morphine.
Although Piriton Syrup is not recommended for use in children under one year of age, your doctor may prescribe it to babies aged one month and over. The syrup is suitable for use by adults and children aged 1 year and over, whilst the allergy tablets should only be used by adults and children aged 6 years and above.
Antihistamines should not be used if you are having treatment for leukaemia (as they can oppose the effect of histamine), or for Meniere's disease, as they can oppose the effect of betahistine.
Tell your doctor if you are taking phenytoin (antiepileptic medicine) as chlorphenamine can increase the level of this medicine in the blood.
If you are taking any antimuscarinic medicines, there may be an increased risk of side effects such as blurred vision and dry mouth. This includes medicines for Parkinson's; urinary incontinence medicines; antipsychotics such as clozapine; antispasmodics such as atropine; and, tricyclic antidepressants.
Although there is no conclusive evidence suggesting chlorphenamine maleate is harmful for use during pregnancy, you should avoid using Piriton Tablets or Syrup whilst pregnant unless your doctor considers it essential.
Because chlorphenamine maleate and other antihistamines are secreted in breast milk, you should not take Piriton Tablets or Syrup if you are breastfeeding.
If you are allergic to chlorphenamine maleate or antihistamines, you should not use this medicine. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, raised, itchy skin and difficulty breathing, you should stop taking this medicine and consult your doctor. If the allergic reaction is severe, go immediately to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital.
If you have glucose-galactose malabsorption, Lapp lactase deficiency or hereditary galactose intolerance problems, you should not take Piriton Tablets or Syrup.
Because Piriton Syrup contains sucrose, you must not take it if you have sucrase-isomaltase deficiency or hereditary fructose intolerance problems.