Periactin (Cyproheptadine)

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Cyproheptadine (Generic alternate to Periactin) Generic
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Periactin generically known as Cyproheptadine is a prescription medication used to treat allergies, itching, and other medical conditions. It belongs to a class of medications known as antihistamines. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine medication used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, and sneezing. It is also used to stimulate appetite in patients with anorexia or cachexia. Additionally, it can be prescribed to help with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It can also be prescribed for off-label uses such as appetite stimulation in underweight individuals and migraine headaches.

Uses and Dosage

Cyproheptadine comes in tablet form and should be taken by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day. The dosage may vary depending on age, medical condition, and response to treatment. In children, the dosage may also be based on weight and body size. Follow the instructions of your doctor and not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for more specific dosing information.

The recommended dosage of cyproheptadine may vary depending on the reason for its use. For the treatment of allergy symptoms, the typical adult dosage is 4mg to 20mg per day, split into two to four doses, while children may be prescribed a lower dose based on their weight and age. For the treatment of appetite stimulation and weight gain in patients with conditions such as anorexia nervosa or cachexia, the typical adult dosage is 2mg to 4mg taken three times a day.

Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Periactin (Cyproheptadine):

  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dryness of nose, throat, and mouth

Serious Side Effects of Periactin (Cyproheptadine):

  • Restlessness
  • Tremor
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Excitement
  • Rash
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight gain

Form and Strength

Periactin (Cyproheptadine) is available in the following forms and strengths:

Cyproheptadine: Tablet

  • 4 mg


  • There is limited information available about the use of cyproheptadine during pregnancy, and it is not known if it can harm a developing fetus. Speak with your doctor before taking cyproheptadine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Before taking cyproheptadine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Cyproheptadine can cause dizziness, sedation, and hypotension in elderly patients.
  • Periactin is included in the Beers List of medications that are potentially inappropriate for use in older adults and should be avoided in elderly patients.
  • The drug can have various side effects, and this document may not contain all possible side effects, which could include heartburn.
  • Cyproheptadine is generally safe for children when used as directed by a physician. However, it can cause drowsiness and other side effects, so it should be used with caution in children.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does Cyproheptadine help with appetite?

Cyproheptadine is known to block the action of a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is known to suppress appetite. By blocking this action, Cyproheptadine can help to improve appetite and promote weight gain.

Can Cyproheptadine be used for anxiety or insomnia?

Cyproheptadine is not typically used to treat anxiety or insomnia. It is an antihistamine medication primarily used for allergy symptoms and appetite stimulation.

How quickly does cyproheptadine work?

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.

Is cyproheptadine good for the stomach?

Cyproheptadine was effective in improving symptoms of functional abdominal pain, functional dyspepsia, in a relatively larger number of patients. Patients in smaller numbers had significant improvement 13/18 (72%) abdominal migraine, 10/10 (100%) IBS, and 6/8 (75%) cyclic vomiting syndrome.


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