Is Piriton Safe For Asthmatics?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the use of Piriton in asthmatics.

May 09, 2018

Melissa asked

My 10 yr old grandson has asthma and other allergies. Can I give him Piriton that has been open for 12 months?


It is very important to ask these questions for your grandson because of his asthma and allergies. I believe that you meant to ask about the allergy medication Piriton. Therefore the information that I am giving you is based upon the drug Piriton.

According to a study by Brown University Piriton, also known by its generic name chlorphenamine, does not to appear to have ill effects in patients with stable asthma. This study found that there was no significant deleterious effect both with long term and short term use.  In fact, antihistamines are often used in asthmatics to prevent attacks and reduce breathing related issues.


Piriton (chlorphenamine) is an antihistamine that is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of allergies and hayfever. It is considered a "first-generation" antihistamine that can cause drowsiness in those who take it. It has a duration of action of around 6-12 hours.

For children aged 6 to 12 years old should take a half (1/2) tablet every 4 to 6 hours as needed with a glass of water. Do not give more than 6 half (3 whole) tablets in 24 hours.

Common Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating or confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach ache
  • Dry mouth
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Low mood or nightmares
  • Children may become excited

In regard to it being open for 12 months, be sure to look at the expiration date of the product to determine if it is in date. If it was stored in the proper conditions (i.e. at room temperature in the original packaging, away from light and moisture), it should be safe to take.


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