Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine active ingredient available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that treat hay fever and other respiratory allergies. It may be written as chlorpheniramine or chlorpheniramine maleate, but it is the same active ingredient. Chlorpheniramine can be the only active ingredient in an allergy medicine or it can be found in medicines that relieve other symptoms, such as body aches and pains, or symptoms associated with the common cold.

Chlorpheniramine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions. It is crucial that parents and other caregivers read the Drug Facts label carefully to determine whether the medicine is appropriate for the child they wish to treat. In the case of chlorpheniramine, some medicines may be used in certain children under 6 at a healthcare provider’s direction, while other products should only be taken by adults or children 12 and older.

  • You have emphysema, chronic bronchitis, glaucoma, or trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking sedatives or tranquilizers.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.
  • Never use chlorpheniramine or any OTC medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.
  • Do not give an OTC multi-symptom cough and cold product with chlorpheniramine to a child under the age of 6 unless a healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Medicines containing chlorpheniramine are available in different dosage strengths. Never give an OTC medicine that is only intended to be used by adults to a child.
  • Read the Drug Facts label for proper child dosing instructions and contact a healthcare provider as directed.
  • Click here for more information on giving OTCs to children.