What is Periactin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cyproheptadine (Periactin) is an
oral antihistamine used for
allergic reactions. It works by blocking the effects of histamine and
is classified as a first generation antihistamine. Histamine is released by cells of the body during several types of allergic
reactions and, to a lesser extent, during some viral infections, such as the
common cold. When the histamine binds to receptors on other cells, it stimulates
changes within the cells that lead to the release of chemicals that cause
itching, and increased production of mucus.
Antihistamines compete
with histamine for cell receptors and bind to the receptors without stimulating
the cells. In addition, they prevent histamine from binding and stimulating the
cells. Cyproheptadine also blocks the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic
effect) and
serotonin, two neurotransmitters that nerves and muscles use to
communicate with one another, and it causes drowsiness.

Is it available as a generic drug?

Yes, cyproheptadine is available in generic form.

Do I need a prescription for this drug?

Yes, you need a prescription for Periactin from your doctor or other health
care professional.

What are the uses for Periactin?

Cyproheptadine is used for treating various types of allergic
reactions and the skin manifestations of allergic reactions.

It’s off-label uses (non-FDA approved) include:

What are the adverse events and side effect of Periactin?

Side effects of include:

Other side effects that have been reported include:

Antihistamines may reduce mental alertness, however, they may occasionally
produce excitation in children.

Patients should be warned about driving a car or
operating machinery and participating in other activities that require mental
alertness and motor coordination.

Antihistamines may add to the sedative effects of alcohol, hypnotics,
sedatives, tranquilizers, and
anti-anxiety drugs.

Antihistamines are more likely to cause dizziness, sedation, and hypotension
(low blood pressure) in elderly patients.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2017

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