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Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pregnancy Category: B
ClassificationTherapeutic: allergy cold cough remedies
Symptomatic relief of allergic symptoms (rhinitis, urticaria) caused by histamine release.
Antagonizes the effects of histamine at H1-receptor sites; does not bind to or inactivate histamine.
Decreased symptoms of histamine excess (sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal and ocular pruritus, ocular tearing and redness).
Absorption: Well absorbed following PO/IM administration.
Distribution: Widely distributed; minimal amounts excreted in breast milk; crosses the blood-brain barrier.
Metabolism and Excretion: Extensively metabolized by the liver.
Half-life: 12–35 hr.
Time/action profile (relief of allergic symptoms)
|PO||15–30 min||1–2 hr||4–6 hr|
Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Acute attacks of asthma; Known alcohol intolerance (some elixirs); Lactation: Potential for adverse reaction in nursing infants.
Use Cautiously in: Angle-closure glaucoma; Liver disease; Obstetric: Safety not established; Geriatric: More susceptible to adverse reactions; use lower initial dose; Pediatric: Children <4 yr (OTC cough and cold products containing this medication should be avoided).
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
- drowsiness (most frequent)
- sedation (most frequent)
- excitation (in children)
Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat
- blurred vision (most frequent)
- hypertension (most frequent)
- dry mouth (most frequent)
- urinary hesitancy
Drug-Drug interactionAdditive CNS depression with other CNS depressants including alcohol, opioids, and sedative/hypnotics.MAO inhibitors intensify and prolong the anticholinergic effects of antihistamines.
Oral (Adults and Children ≥12 yr) 4 mg q 4–6 hr daily as needed (not to exceed 24 mg/day).
Oral (Children 6–12 yr) 2 mg q 4–6 hr as needed (not to exceed 12 mg/day).
Oral (Children 4–6 yr) 1 mg q 4–6 hr as needed (not to exceed 6 mg/day).
Availability (generic available)
Tablets: 4 mgOTC
Oral solution: 1 mg/mLOTC
- Assess allergy symptoms (rhinitis, conjunctivitis, hives) before and periodically during therapy.
- Assess lung sounds and character of bronchial secretions. Maintain fluid intake of 1500–2000 mL/day to decrease viscosity of secretions.
- Caution parents to avoid OTC cough and cold products while breastfeeding or to children <4 yrs.
- Lab Test Considerations: May cause false negatives in allergy skin testing. Discontinue antihistamines at least 72 hr before testing.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesIneffective airway clearance (Indications)
Risk for injury (Adverse Reactions)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)
- Oral: Administer oral doses with food or milk to decrease GI irritation.
- Instruct patient to take medication as directed; do not double doses.
- Commonly causes drowsiness. Caution patient to avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness until response to the medication is known.
- Advise patient to avoid taking alcohol or other CNS depressants concurrently with this drug.
- Frequent oral rinses, good oral hygiene, and sugarless gum or candy may help relieve dry mouth.
- Instruct patient to contact health care professional if symptoms persist.
- Decrease in allergic symptoms.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
A trademark for the drug brompheniramine maleate.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.