Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination

Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination is a commonly used and effective remedy for nasal issues caused by colds and allergies.

Overview:

This drug is available in both prescription strength and as an over the counter medication. There are some side effects to be aware of, mainly increased blood pressure, nervousness, and dry mouth. The combination of these drugs is utilized to counter nasal issues, such as congestion and a runny nose, that are caused by either allergies, colds, or seasonal allergies. Typically, most people utilize over the counter options when looking for relief from nasal issues, although there are prescription-strength Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination medications available.

The three different drugs in these combinations all address different symptoms of colds and allergies. First, the antihistamine component works to prevent the release of histamine, a natural substance which when produced at excess levels can cause the symptoms that are commonly associated with colds and allergies. Antihistamines, such as chlorpheniramine, work to limit the body's production of histamines. When histamines are produced, it can lead to such ailments as watery eyes, a runny nose, as well as itchy eyes and sneezing.

In this drug, there are also decongestants that work to narrow the blood vessels thus alleviating swelling and the congestion that this can cause. Drugs such as Allerx-D most commonly contain pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine to combat the congestion that can be related to allergies and colds. Patients that are looking for relief from the symptoms of allergies and colds should be aware that these decongestants have been known to cause elevated blood pressure which is cause for concern in patients that suffer from hypertension.

To combat the mucus and other fluids that can build up in the nose and chest and during a cold or allergy season, this combination includes anticholinergics such as methscopolamine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and atropine.

The combination of these three drugs effectively treats most all of the symptoms that can occur during cold and allergy season. If you suffer from hypertension, it is advisable to confer with your physician prior to taking any of the over the counter medications that are comprised of the Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination. There are also drugs of this type that require a prescription but most patients find non-prescription strength Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination effective for their needs.

Condition(s) Treated:

  • Nasal Congestion and Runny Nose Caused by Colds and Allergies

Type of Medicine:

  • Chlorpheniramine, Phenylephrine and Pseudoephedrine, and Atropine

Side Effects:

There are several side effects that can occur with the use of Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination, with some being more severe than others. If you are taking a drug that contains pseudoephedrine, excitement, nervousness, and restlessness can all be signs of overdose and should be addressed by a medical professional immediately.

If you experience side effects such as any of these, it is best to check with your physician to ensure that they are not signs of a more serious reaction:

Rare:

  • Mood or mental changes
  • Irregular or slow heartbeat
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching
  • Tightness in the chest
  • A sore throat and fever
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

There are also side effects associated with Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination that are less severe and will likely dissipate on their own. If they do linger, or cause you worry, your doctor can advise on next steps and corrective measures. Patients that are currently being treated with one of these medications your doctor or pharmacist can recommend strategies to combat or avoid any side effects, and it is best to check with them prior to beginning any new medication, even if it is over the counter and does not require a prescription.

More common:

  • Thickening of mucus
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping.

Less common:

  • Blurred vision
  • Unusual paleness
  • Confusion
  • Trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Nightmares
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ringing or buzzing in ears
  • Headache
  • Unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
  • Dryness of mouth, nose, or throat
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Weakness.

The above are the most common side effects of this medication and does not represent a comprehensive list. If you suffer from any ill effects when taking Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination, it is always best to discuss them with your doctor.

There are also concerns for geriatric patients that use these drugs as they have been known to cause unwanted side effects in elderly people. Of note, confusion and memory loss are the most worrisome, especially in patients that are already experiencing these conditions. The possibility of painful or uncomfortable urination also exists, which can be of special concern in older male patients that already have issues with urination. Dizziness and drowsiness, two common side effects of cold and allergy medicines, are also more prevalent in people that are elderly. While patients of all ages may experience dry mouth, convulsions, nervousness, and irritability, these symptoms have been reported in greater incidences with older users. Elderly patients who suffer may or may not suffer from glaucoma may also experience eye pain which should be checked by their eye doctor.

Young people are also more sensitive to the side effects that are often associated with Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination. Very young children should not be given any over the counter medications without the guidance of their pediatrician, especially those under the age of four. Older children are more susceptible to nightmares, elevated blood pressure, and restlessness with the use of this medication. If your child suffers from paralysis or brain damage, the side effects can be severe and caution should be exercised with the use of this medication. Anticholinergics have been known to cause heat stroke due to the rapid rise in temperature that can occur when children take the drug during periods of excessively hot weather.

For temporary relief of the dry mouth that this drug can cause, chewing gum or a mint will provide temporary relief. Dry nose can be alleviated with a saline spray. If these side effects continue for longer than a few days it is best to consult with your doctor. Extended periods of dry mouth can increase the presence of dental issues such as gum disease or infection.

Dosage:

There are many different types of Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination available in both regular acting and extended release. It is always a best practice to follow the instructions on the label, and review all doses with your pharmacist or physician. The dosage levels referenced below are the most typical, but your requirements may differ. Always follow the direction of your doctor when taking this or any other medication.

People will differ in the amount of drug that they take, how often they take it, and the time between doses due to their specific needs.

Regular or short-acting medications are available in tablets, both regular and chewable as well as cough syrups, and the typical dosage information for patients that are suffering from cold or allergy symptoms should be followed like this:

  • Children that are 12 years or older, as well as adults, should take 1 to 2 tablets (either regular or chewable), and if they are taking the medication in syrup form then they should take or 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of the drug every four to six hours.
  • If the dose is for children aged 6 to 12, then 1 (chewable) tablet and if they are being administered the medicine in liquid form, then the appropriate dose is 1 teaspoonful every four hours.
  • For children aged 4 to 6 years old, this drug should not be given to them without the direction and supervision of their family physician or pediatrician.
  • This drug is not recommended for use in infants of any age or in children that are younger than age 4.

Long-acting, or extended release, options are available in both capsules and tablets and the typical dosage guidelines are as follows:

  • In children that are 12 years old or older, the dosage is the same as that for adult patients, which is 1 tablet or capsule (whichever is the preferred choice) every twelve hours.
  • In pediatric patients that are from age 4 to age 12, it is important that this drug isn't given to them without the direction and supervision of their family doctor or pediatrician.

This drug is not recommended for use in children and infants up to 4 years of age.

Missed Dose:

It is advised to take a missed dose as quickly as you can, although if you are near the time of your next dose it is best to wait and only take the following dose. Double doses of this medication can cause complications that can be severe, and therefore patients should never take more than the amount advised by their doctor or pharmacist.

This drug is not recommended for use in infants of any age or in children that are younger than age 4.

Major Drug Interactions:

Most drugs can interact negatively when combined, which makes it imperative to discuss all of the medications that you are taking with your doctor, including all prescriptions, over the counter medications, and vitamin, herbal, and mineral supplements. They may adjust your dosage or recommend a different medication as an alternative. The main interaction with Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination is potassium, and taking both of these medications should not be done unless advised by your doctor.

Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination interacts negatively with:

  • Potassium

Warnings:

If you are taking this medication but do not experience any relief from your symptoms, or have a high fever, it is best to check with your doctor as soon as possible. Most cold and allergy symptoms do not last for more than a few days, and a lingering condition can be a sign of a more serious issue. Anyone that is taking Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination and does not get any relief should check with their doctor as soon as possible to rule out other more serious factors.

If you are taking this medication and your doctor would like to perform an allergy skin test, be sure to advise them that you are currently taking Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination as the antihistamine that it contains can alter the test results.

Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination medicines reduce the amount of sweat that your body produces which can, in turn, increase your body temperature. If you are taking this medication during the summer months, or during warm weather periods, take care to stay hydrated and avoid excessive exercise or other physical activity outdoors, as this can result in heat stroke. Additionally, any warm areas such as saunas, steam rooms, and even hot baths can increase your likelihood of feeling dizzy or lightheaded. It may be best to avoid such activities while taking an Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination.

Anticholinergics have been known to cause blurred vision and other eye issues in some people. If you are going to drive or operate heavy machinery, be sure that you are aware of how this drug affects your vision prior to doing so. This medication can also create a light sensitivity in the eyes, and UV protective sunglasses should be worn when taking it. Bright sunlight has been reported to cause eye sensitivity and discomfort in users of Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination.

One of the most common side effects of users if the propensity to become dizzy, lightheaded, or feel faint. If you are unfamiliar with how you will react to the medicine, it is best to take it in safe circumstances and remain aware of the potential side effects and discomfort. Patients should be aware of how the drug will affect them prior to driving or engaging in any activity that requires full alertness. Another common side effect is the feeling of drowsiness which prevents some people from using this drug during the day. If you are uncertain of your reaction, it is best to exercise caution when you first take it.

Finally, there can be issues caused by the decongestant that is contained in the combination. Most commonly, patients report that they experience a feeling of restlessness, or are overly agitated or nervous. If you experience insomnia or have trouble sleeping, you may be taking the medication too close to bedtime. Your doctor will be able to advise you on alternative dosage times or may suggest an alternative medication.

It is imperative to alert your doctor or dentist that you are taking an Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination prior to any surgery or other major medical procedure.

Do not mix this drug with alcohol as it may prove to be fatal. If you take too much of this drug overdose is possible, and emergency services should be contacted immediately in any instance where overdose may be likely to have occurred.

Storage:

It is best to keep this medication in its original packaging and keep it from excessive heat and cold. Do not allow the medication to receive direct sunlight. If you do not use all of the medication, or it becomes outdated, speak with your doctor about the proper disposal methods to take.

Like all medications, it is important to keep Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination out of the reach of children.

Summary:

Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination is an effective medication for the treatment of the symptoms caused by colds and allergies. It has been known to cause elevated blood pressure in users, and care should be taken by any patients that suffer from hypertension. Potassium is the one main drug that can have a negative interaction and should not be taken by patients that are also using this drug. If you are currently taking potassium for treatment of another ailment, discuss your allergy and cold symptoms with your doctor in order to determine a medication that will be more suitable in your case.

This drug is available as a prescription and also over the counter. As with all medications, it is important to check with your doctor prior to taking any drug, medication, or supplement. Many patients report that the increase in heartbeat and the feeling of nervousness that occurs with this drug causes them a level of discomfort that requires a switch to another medication. If you are sensitive to nervousness and rapid heartbeat, it may be worth discussing such issues with your doctor prior to taking any of this type of medication. While some elevation is typical for use of this drug, it is important to report all such cases to your physician as soon as possible as overdose is possible with this drug.

Overdose can occur with this medication and care should be taken to follow all dosage directions very carefully. Notify emergency services immediately if it is suspected that someone has overdosed on Antihistamine, Decongestant, and Anticholinergic Combination.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 25, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017
Content Source: