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Brompheniramine overdose

Definition

Brompheniramine is a type of medicine called an antihistamine, which helps relieve allergy symptoms. Brompheniramine overdose occurs when someone takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medicine. This can be by accident or on purpose.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

Brompheniramine and brompheniramine maleate are the poisonous ingredients in this medicine.

Where Found

Brompheniramine may be found in the following brand-name products:

  • Bromphen
  • Chlorphed
  • Dimetane
  • Dimetapp

Other medicines may also contain brompheniramine.

Symptoms

Below are symptoms of a brompheniramine overdose in different parts of the body.

BLADDER AND KIDNEYS

  • Cannot urinate
  • Difficulty urinating

EYES, EARS, NOSE, MOUTH, AND THROAT

HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS

NERVOUS SYSTEM

SKIN

  • Flushed skin

STOMACH AND INTESTINES

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Home Care

Seek medical help right away. DO NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.

Before Calling Emergency

Have this information ready:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the medicine (and strength, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed
  • If the medicine was prescribed for the person

Poison Control

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support, including tube through the mouth into the lungs and ventilator (breathing machine)
  • Chest x-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Intravenous fluids (through a vein)
  • Laxatives
  • Medicine to treat symptoms
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)

Outlook (Prognosis)

If the person survives the first 24 hours, chances of survival are good. Few people actually die from an antihistamine overdose. With very high doses of antihistamines, serious heart rhythm disturbances may occur. This can cause death.

Keep all medicines in child-proof bottles and out of the reach of children.

References

Kirk MA, Baer AB. Anticholinergics and antihistamines. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 39.

Simons FER, Akdis CA. Histamine and H1 antihistamines. In: Adkinson NF Jr, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 94.

Velez LI, Feng S-Y. Anticholinergics. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 150.

Review Date:10/13/2015
Reviewed By:Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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