What is in Piriton?

When you’re looking at hay fever remedies, you might be a little unsure about where to start. What are all of these medicines? What do they do? Are they actually going to work?


It can be a really difficult decision to make, especially when you’re struggling with hay fever fuelled coughs and sneezes, but you’ve got to pick a remedy and pick it now.


If you’re a hay fever sufferer, you’ve probably heard of Piriton or have seen it amongst the shelves of hay fever remedies when you’ve been searching for a solution to your allergy.


But what makes Piriton tick? We’re about to take a deep dive into exactly what makes Piriton an effective hay fever remedy, what active ingredients it uses, and when Piriton could be right for you.


What is Piriton?


Piriton is the name of a range of hay fever relief medications which all use the same active ingredient to combat hay fever symptoms.


There are a few different ways to take hay fever, but we’ll get into them later.


First, we have to know what makes Piriton work, and to do that we’ve got to go back to the beginning and look at what happens when you get hay fever.


What happens when you have hay fever?


Hay fever is an allergy to pollen, which is created by plants.


If someone who suffers with hay fever comes into contact with pollen then their immune system goes into overdrive, trying to help your body to get rid of the pollen it believes is a threat to your health.


When your immune system starts to respond to pollen, it creates a natural substance called histamine.


This substance heads to the different parts of your body that respond to hay fever, telling them that they have to get that pollen out of your system.


This is when you get symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and itchy and watery eyes. So how does Piriton respond to this?




What is Chlorpheniramine maleate (a.k.a. Chlorphenamine)?


If you’re anything like me then you’ve probably looked at Chlorpheniramine maleate and thought, “Wow. That’s a lot of letters. Where do I even begin with that?”


But luckily, the only thing you really need to know about Chlorpheniramine is that it’s the active ingredient in Piriton.


This means that Chlorpheniramine is what makes Piriton work.


How does Chlorpheniramine work?


Remember all of that histamine that gets created in your body when you have an allergic reaction? Well, Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine, meaning that it works against histamine.


Antihistamines block histamine from telling your body that it needs to respond to pollen, and without that message from histamine, your body won’t do anything to respond to that allergen.


That means no more coughs, sneezes, and itchy eyes, and a whole lot of relief!



Can I get Chlorpheniramine over the counter?


So Chlorpheniramine sounds pretty great, right? But wouldn’t a big medical sounding word like that require a doctor’s prescription to get hold of? You’ll be happy to hear that the answer is no!


You don’t need a prescription to get your hands on Chlorpheniramine, because it’s available to you as an ingredient of Piriton.


You can buy 500 Piriton tablets at a time over the counter from pharmacies, so there’s nothing stopping you from feeling the benefits of Chlorpheniramine.


What dosage of Piriton should I take?


So, you’ve decided that Chlorpheniramine is the antihistamine for you and you want to pick up some Piriton so it can get to work on your hay fever symptoms right away.


Now you’re faced with another question, what kind of Piriton is right for you? And how much should you take?


You can take Piriton in two different ways, tablets and syrup, and they both have their pros and cons.


Let’s take a look at them both, so you have a better idea of what you’re dealing with.




Piriton tablets are very popular, and that’s mostly because of their simplicity. Piriton tablets are perfect for adults and children over the age of 6, and all you have to do is swallow your tablet every few hours to combat hay fever symptoms.


Each Piriton tablet contains 4mg of Chlorphenamine maleate, which is enough to get to work on those symptoms, fast.


If you’re over the age of 12, you’d need one 4mg Piriton tablet every 4 to 6 hours to combat hay fever. For children aged between 6 and 12, just take half a tablet every 4 to 6 hours instead.


See? Told you it was simple! Just make sure that you don’t take more than 6 of your dose of Piriton in 24 hours and you’ll be fine.


Piriton tablets come in packs of 30, 60, and even 500 tablets, meaning that you’ll be covered all hay fever season.




So, what if tablets just aren’t for you? Or you’re looking to treat someone who’s younger than 6 and is struggling with the hay fever sniffles?


Well, that’s where Piriton syrup comes in. It’s suitable for children aged 1 and over, meaning that even the smallest of us can be protected from hay fever symptoms.


Each 5ml dose of Piriton liquid contains 2mg of Chlorpheniramine maleate meaning that two spoonfuls will give you the same dosage as a Piriton tablet.


Piriton syrup comes with a double ended spoon, which has 5ml and 2.5ml dosage options, with the smaller spoon designed with younger children in mind.


This smaller 2.5ml dose is ideal for little ones, with children aged between 1 and 2 needing just one 2.5ml spoonful, twice a day.


This means Piriton is perfect for all the family, no matter how troublesome their allergies may be!


Is Piriton suitable for babies?


Although Piriton Syrup is perfect for toddlers over the age of 1, Piriton is not suitable for babies.


If you have a baby that is struggling with hay fever, take them to see your doctor or contact your Chemist 4 U pharmacist, they’ll be able to give you some great advice about how you can make your baby’s struggle with hay fever more manageable. 



Will Piriton make me drowsy?

If you have hay fever, you may find yourself lying awake at night as a result, whereas others might feel really sleepy when suffering with an allergic reaction.


If you’re one of these people, you may be wondering whether Piriton could make you drowsy. Turns out, Piriton can make you feel drowsy, and it’s the same for both Piriton tablets and Piriton syrup.


If you need to drive or operate machinery or tools, always wait for a little while after taking Piriton to be sure that you’re not feeling drowsy and can operate machinery or drive safely.



Now we know exactly what’s in Piriton, what makes it work, and what makes Piriton right for you.


If you have any other questions about Piriton, don’t hesitate to give our Chemist 4 U pharmacists a call. They’ll be able to answer any little questions you might still have about all things Piriton.

Laura Henderson - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 18 October 2022
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