Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

For patients taking this medicine by mouth:

  • Antihistamines can be taken with food or a glass of water or milk to lessen stomach irritation if necessary.
  • If you are taking the extended-release tablet form of this medicine, swallow the tablets whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.

For patients taking dimenhydrinate or diphenhydramine for motion sickness:

  • Take this medicine at least 30 minutes or, even better, 1 to 2 hours before you begin to travel.

For patients using the suppository form of this medicine:

  • To insert suppository: First remove the foil wrapper and moisten the suppository with cold water. Lie down on your side and use your finger to push the suppository well up into the rectum. If the suppository is too soft to insert, chill the suppository in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run cold water over it before removing the foil wrapper.

For patients using the injection form of this medicine:

  • If you will be giving yourself the injection, make sure you understand exactly how to give it. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Antihistamines are used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of your medical problem. Take them only as directed. Do not take more of them and do not take them more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For use as an antihistamine:

For azatadine

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults—1 to 2 milligrams (mg) every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 12 years of age and older—0.5 mg to 1 mg two times a day as needed.
    • Children 4 to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For brompheniramine

  • For regular (short-acting) oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—4 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—2 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—1 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults and teenagers—10 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein every eight to twelve hours.
    • Children 4 to 12 years of age—0.125 mg per kilogram (0.06 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein three or four times a day as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For cetirizine

  • For oral dosage forms (syrup and tablets):
    • Adults—5 to 10 milligrams (mg) once a day.
    • Children 6 years of age and older—5 to 10 mg once a day.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—2.5 mg once a day, up to a maximum of 5 mg once a day or 2.5 mg twice a day.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For chlorpheniramine

  • For regular (short-acting) oral dosage forms (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—4 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—2 mg three or four times a day as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For long-acting oral dosage forms (capsules or tablets):
    • Adults—8 or 12 milligrams (mg) every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 12 years of age and older—8 mg every twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—5 to 40 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle, into a vein, or under the skin.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—0.0875 mg per kilogram (0.04 mg per pound) of body weight injected under the skin every six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For clemastine

  • For oral dosage forms (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—1.34 milligrams (mg) two times a day or 2.68 mg one to three times a day as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—0.67 to 1.34 mg two times a day.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For cyproheptadine

  • For oral dosage forms (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and children 14 years of age and older—4 milligrams (mg) every eight hours. The doctor may increase the dose if needed.
    • Children 6 to 14 years of age—4 mg every eight to twelve hours as needed
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—2 mg every eight to twelve hours as needed
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For desloratadine

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—5 milligrams (mg) once a day.
    • Children 4 to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For dexchlorpheniramine

  • For regular (short-acting) oral dosage form (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—2 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 5 to 12 years of age—1 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 5 years of age—0.5 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For long-acting oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults—4 or 6 milligrams (mg) every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For diphenhydramine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—25 to 50 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—12.5 to 25 mg every four to six hours.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—6.25 to 12.5 mg every four to six hours.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—10 to 50 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle or into a vein.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—1.25 mg per kg (0.6 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle four times a day.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For doxylamine

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults and teenagers—12.5 to 25 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—6.25 to 12.5 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For fexofenadine

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • Adults and teenagers—60 milligrams (mg) two times a day as needed or 180 mg once a day.
    • Children 6 to 11 years of age—30 mg twice a day as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For loratadine

  • For oral dosage forms (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and children 6 years of age and older—10 milligrams (mg) once a day.
    • Children 4 to 5 years of age—5 mg once a day.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For phenindamine

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults and teenagers—25 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—12.5 mg every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For nausea, vomiting, and vertigo (only dimenhydrinate and diphenhydramine are used for vertigo):

For dimenhydrinate

  • For regular (short-acting) oral dosage forms (tablets or liquid):
    • Adults and teenagers—50 to 100 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age—25 to 50 mg every six to eight hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—12.5 to 25 mg every six to eight hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For long-acting oral dosage forms (capsules):
    • Adults—1 capsule (contains 25 milligrams [mg] for immediate action and 50 mg for long action) every twelve hours.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—50 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle or into a vein every four hours as needed.
    • Children 2 years of age and older—1.25 mg per kg (0.6 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle or into a vein every six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For suppository dosage form:
    • Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg) inserted into the rectum every six to eight hours as needed.
    • Children 12 years of age and older—50 mg inserted into the rectum every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 8 to 12 years of age—25 to 50 mg inserted into the rectum every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 6 to 8 years of age—12.5 to 25 mg inserted into the rectum every eight to twelve hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For diphenhydramine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—25 to 50 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—1 to 1.5 mg per kg (0.45 to 0.7 mg per pound) of body weight every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—10 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle or into a vein. Dose may be increased to 25 to 50 mg every two to three hours.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—1 to 1.5 mg per kg (0.45 to 0.68 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle every six hours.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For hydroxyzine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—25 to 100 milligrams (mg) three or four times a day as needed.
    • Children 6 years of age and older—12.5 to 25 mg every six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 to 6 years of age—12.5 mg every six hours as needed.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—25 to 100 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—1 mg per kg (0.45 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For Parkinson's disease:

For diphenhydramine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—25 milligrams (mg) three times a day when starting treatment. Your doctor may increase the dose gradually later if needed.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—10 to 50 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle or into a vein.
    • Children—1.25 mg per kg (0.6 mg per pound) of body weight four times a day injected into a muscle.

For use as a sedative (to help sleep):

For diphenhydramine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—50 milligrams (mg) twenty to thirty minutes before bedtime if needed.

For doxylamine

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • Adults—25 milligrams (mg) thirty minutes before bedtime if needed.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

For hydroxyzine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg).
    • Children 4 years of age and older—0.6 mg per kg (0.3 mg per pound) of body weight.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—50 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle.

For anxiety:

For hydroxyzine

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, or liquid):
    • Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg).
    • Children 4 years of age and older—0.6 mg per kg (0.3 mg per pound) of body weight.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .
  • For injection dosage form:
    • Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle every four to six hours as needed.
    • Children 4 years of age and older—1 mg per kilogram (0.45 mg per pound) of body weight injected into a muscle.
    • Children and infants up to 4 years of age—Use is not recommended .

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.