Introduction to Doxylamine
Before we dive into the side effects of Doxylamine, it is important to understand what this medication is and why it is used. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that is primarily used to relieve symptoms of allergies, the common cold, and as a short-term treatment for sleep problems (insomnia). It works by blocking certain natural substances (histamine, acetylcholine) that your body makes. This results in drying up some body fluids and helping you to sleep.
Common Side Effects of Doxylamine
Like any other medication, Doxylamine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth/nose/throat, headache, upset stomach, constipation, and trouble sleeping. These are usually mild and often disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if they persist or worsen, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Severe Side Effects of Doxylamine
While most people taking Doxylamine will only experience mild side effects, there are some severe side effects that require immediate medical attention. These include mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), difficulty urinating, fast/irregular heartbeat, and seizures. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking the medication and seek medical help immediately.
Side Effects on Pregnant Women and Children
Doxylamine is often used in combination with other medications to manage nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. While it is generally considered safe, it should still be used on the advice of a medical professional. As for children, they are more susceptible to the side effects of antihistamines. Extreme caution should be exercised when administering Doxylamine to children.
Allergic Reactions to Doxylamine
Though it is rare, some people may have a serious allergic reaction to Doxylamine. Symptoms may include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, and trouble breathing. If you observe any of these signs, get medical help right away.
Interactions of Doxylamine with Other Drugs
Doxylamine can interact with other medications, which may increase your risk for serious side effects or alter the effectiveness of your medications. Some drugs that may interact with Doxylamine include antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Overdose on Doxylamine
If someone has overdosed on Doxylamine and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call for emergency help immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, seizures, widened pupils, and fast/irregular heartbeat.
How to Minimize Side Effects
To minimize the side effects of Doxylamine, it is crucial to use the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Taking more than the recommended dose can increase your risk of serious side effects.
While Doxylamine can be a beneficial medication for those struggling with allergies, cold symptoms, or sleep issues, it's important to be aware of the potential side effects. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, and immediately report any severe or worrying side effects. Remember, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.