BRAND NAME: CIPLACTIN®, CYHEPTINE®, CYPROGIN®, CYPRONO®, CYPROSIAN®, KLARIVITINA®, NURAN®,
Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine, in many ways similar to other antihistamines with which we are more familiar but it is rarely used for its antihistamine effects. Cyproheptadine is mostly used because of its strong appetite stimulating side effect, though it also is used in inflammatory conditions which involve histamine. Cyproheptadine is also used (rarely and not very reliably) in the treatment of Cushing’s Disease, the hormone imbalance involving excess cortisone production in the body.
In addition to blocking H1 histamine receptors and thereby blocking the effects of histamine, cypropheptadine interferes with serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain. It is through this effect that appetite stimulation occurs.
HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED
Cyproheptadine has several uses:
Cyproheptadine is usually given twice daily, either with or without food. If a dose is skipped, the next dose should not be doubled and dosing is picked up where it was left off.
Common side effects of cyproheptadine stem from its antihistamine nature. Drowsiness is probably the most common side effect though some cats will have a "paradoxic" reaction and become excited.
Antihistamines in general also produce what are called "anticholinergic effects" at higher doses or in overdoses and cyproheptadine is no different. These anticholinergic effects include:
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS
Sedation side effects are magnified when this medication is used with other sedatives.
Cyproheptadine can interfere with the activity of serotonin reuptake inhibitors which would typically be used for anxiety. Examples of serotonin reuptake inhibitors would include fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxitine.
Cyproheptadine can also be used to reverse serotonin syndrome caused by excessive use of mirtazapine or other medications that increase brain levels of serotonin. Serotonin syndrome is a reaction that occurs when brain levels of serotonin get too high. Elevated heart rate, tremors/shivering, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, elevated body temperature, or high blood pressure can all be signs of serotonin syndrome. Cyproheptadine acts by reducing brain serotonin levels and can be used to reverse serotonin syndrome.
Cyproheptadine may interfere with the effectiveness of tramadol, a pain reliever.
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
Cyproheptadine is best avoided in patients with glaucoma, recovering from urinary blockage, seizure disorders, and/or heart failure patients.
Cyproheptadine should not be used in nursing mothers as it may interfere with milk production.
Cyproheptadine tablets should be stored at room temperature, protected from light. The syrup can be refrigerated but does not have to be.
Page last updated: 5/17/2019