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Piriton hay fever

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger HendersonReviewed on 12.09.2023 | 2 minutes read

Piriton (which contains the medication chlorphenamine) is a type of over-the-counter medicine known as a sedating antihistamine used to treat hay fever symptoms. It comes in both syrup and tablet form.

It is known as sedating as it can cause side effects of drowsiness, and there are other antihistamines that are non-drowsy such as loratadine. It is used to relieve the symptoms of allergies in a wide range of allergic conditions, including hay fever, insect bites, pet allergies, food allergies, contact dermatitis, and atopic eczema. Piriton is useful in relieving symptoms of itching, sneezing, runny nose, skin rash, and red/itchy/watery eyes.

Who is it for?

This medication is used for anyone over the age of 6 years suffering from allergies caused by pollen (hay fever), animals or food.

How does it work?

During an allergic reaction, your immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for the symptoms of an allergy. Antihistamines work by opposing the actions of histamine, by stopping histamine binding to its target sites in the body.

The chemical structure of drowsy antihistamines means they are able to enter the brain through what is known as the blood-brain barrier. This makes them more likely to cause drowsiness compared to other antihistamines. If you are needing to stay alert, such as for driving or performing skilled tasks, then another antihistamine may be a better choice.

Pharmacist recommended products

Should anyone avoid taking it?

This medication should not be used by children under 6 years old unless under instruction by your doctor. Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication, if you have severe kidney or liver problems, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new.

Are there any side effects?

As with any medications, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. Some of the common ones include drowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and lack of concentration.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 12.09.2023
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