Piriton Overdose Symptoms and Treatment

Piriton is a brand of generic medication called Chlorpheniramine. It is an anti-histamine class medication. The most common side effect of this medication is drowsiness. Therefore, some people use it as a sleeping pill. Deliberate overdose of piriton is common in general medical practice though accidental overdose is rare. But generally, isolated piriton overdose is not lethal.

In addition, Piriton is a common ingredient in many over the counter cough preparations. Therefore, overdose of piriton in combination with other cough remedy ingredients such as diphenhydramine and Guaifenesin is also common. There are case reports that the above combination can sometimes become lethal.

Symptoms of Piriton Overdose

Piriton is a medication that affects several neurotransmitter systems in the body. They are the histamine system and cholinergic system. Blocking of the histamine system causes drowsiness. It is effective at reducing itching, allergy, allergic rhinitis and the common cold. However, its anti-cholinergic side effects such as urine retention, acute angle closure glaucoma and increased heart rate are troublesome.

The symptoms of overdose are predictable. They are

  • excessive drowsiness
  • urine retention
  • dry mouth
  • glaucoma
  • increased heart rate.

In Piriton overdoses, the heart rate increase does not cause many problems.

Activated charcoal is used in treatment of poisoning including piriton poisoning
Activated charcoal is used in treatment of poisoning including piriton poisoning | Source

Treatment of Piriton Overdose

I once treated a patient who took around 80 tablets of piriton but had no problems after standard treatment of any intoxication (stomach washout and activated charcoal treatment).

There is no specific antidote for a piriton overdose. Doctors only treat symptoms once they appear. For example, when the patient develops urine retention, catheterization is done.

Standard treatment for any intoxication, such as stomach washout (gastric lavarge) and activated charcoal treatment is usually prescribed.


Piriton is a common ingredient in cough preparations. In addition, it is a common over the counter medication available for the common cold, allergies and allergic rhinitis. However, it is abused by many people to induce sleep and some take it deliberately in attempted suicide. Accidental overdose is usually not common. The commonest symptoms of overdose are drowsiness and urine retention. It is treated by stomach washout and activated charcoal.

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Comments 11 comments

vodco 2 years ago

drunk 60 piriton tablets for 19 years gir.. what happen????

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njmanura 2 years ago from Sri Lanka Author

Nothing would happen as it is a pretty harmless medication.

rayary 20 months ago

so nothing would happen if you accudnetly tuck two instead of one?

njmanura profile image

njmanura 20 months ago from Sri Lanka Author

No nothing will happen except little more drowsiness.

njmanura profile image

njmanura 20 months ago from Sri Lanka Author

No nothing will happen except little more drowsiness.

maliha 14 months ago

i am eaten 8 tablet of piriton is this deadly?

Amy 12 months ago

How many does it take to hallucinate

Paul 11 months ago


AJWright 8 months ago

I took a huge amount to try to skive from work once, I had a rash all over from which pinpricks of blood started oozing from. I worked with some pretty heavy chemicals ( chemical milling baths etc) I think I damn near killed myself but I can't work out weather this was simply the pills or an inter-reaction with the fumes as well.. Industrial strength hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid,chromic acid etc.

ann 2 months ago

I took five tablets and only felt drowsy and mild headache. I thought i would die. Fool me

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njmanura 2 months ago from Sri Lanka Author

Dont worry it s not toxic symptoms will reduce within after 24hrs drink plenty of water

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