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URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002601.htm

Brompheniramine overdose

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 your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Poisonous Ingredient

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

Where Found

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

  • Bromfed-DM

Other medicines may also contain brompheniramine.

Symptoms

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

BLADDER AND KIDNEYS

  • Inability to urinate
  • Difficulty urinating

EYES, EARS, NOSE, MOUTH, AND THROAT

HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS

NERVOUS SYSTEM

SKIN

  • Flushed and dry skin

STOMACH AND INTESTINES

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and 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:

  • The 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

Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline 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.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

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

Your provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • CT scan (advanced imaging) of the brain for neurologic symptoms
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Treatment may include:

  • Fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Medicine to treat symptoms
  • Activated charcoal
  • Laxatives
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
  • Breathing support, including oxygen, tube through the mouth into the lungs, and breathing machine (ventilator)

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, however, serious heart rhythm disturbances may occur, which can cause death.

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

References

Aronson JK. Anticholinergic drugs. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier; 2016:534-539.

Hoppe JA, Monte AA. Anticholinergics. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 140.

Review Date 7/1/2023

Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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