23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine. 

1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:


2.  Uses:

Available as tablets or syrup for the treatment of allergic reactions, certain skin problems (such as eczema and urticaria), allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, cough and colds.

3.  How This Medicine Works:

Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that helps reduce allergic symptoms by preventing the effects of a substance called histamine. Histamine is produced by the body in response to foreign substances which the body is allergic to. 

4.  Do Not Take This Medicine If:

You are allergic to chlorpheniramine, antihistamines, or any other ingredient in this medication.

5.  Before You Start To Take This Medicine:

  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medication.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have glaucoma, prostate problems, liver problems, epilepsy, or any other health problems.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children. 

6.    Taking With Other Medication:

Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine. 

7.  How To Take This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. (hyperlink DIS) 

a)    How to take

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.

Use a syringe or measuring cup to measure the correct dose of syrup to be taken or served to a child.

b)   When to take

1 to 3 times a day when required, or as advised by your doctor.

May be taken at bedtime if it causes drowsiness. 

c)    How long to take

Depends on your condition. You may need to take it for up to 1 week for cough and cold, or longer for eczema. 

d)   If you forget to take it

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8.  While Taking This Medicine: 

a)    Things you should do:

Inform your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist that you are taking chlorpheniramine.

If symptoms persist or worsen, please seek medical attention.

 b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • Do not drive, handle heavy machinery, or drink alcohol after you take this medicine.
  • Do not share your medication with anyone.
  • Do not change the dose without checking with your doctor or pharmacist, and do not exceed the maximum daily dose.

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention. 

9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

Possible side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal dryness of the mouth resulting from decreased secretion of saliva (xerostomia)
  • Somnolence (excessive sleepiness) 

10. Storage and disposal:

  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.


1.    Website:

2.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

3.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition

4.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities  2011

British National Formulary Vol. 60