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Cinnarizine - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, and Precautions

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Cinnarizine is an antihistamine used for motion sickness. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, and drug interactions.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Published At December 29, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 20, 2023

Overview:

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine used to treat nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. It is also known as drowsy histamine as it makes you sleepy compared to other antihistamines. Cinnarizine is an FDA-approved (Food and Drug Administration) therapy for vestibular disorder as it intercepts the signal between the middle ear and the hypothalamus, reducing the impulse to vomit.

Drug Group:

Cinnarizine is a type of medication called an antihistamine. These drugs block the effects of histamine in the brain and reduce travel sickness symptoms. Each tablet contains 15 mg of Cinnarizine and 162.5 mg of lactose anhydrous.

What Is Cinnarizine Used For?

Cinnarizine is considered the first-line pharmacotherapy for managing vertigo, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, and other middle ear disorders. It helps to treat problems affecting the inner ear and balance. The antihistamine is primarily used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. Cinnarizine blocks the histamine action and reduces allergy symptoms such as hives, itchy skin, or facial swelling. Cinnarizine is also used to treat body balancing problems caused by Meniere disease (a disorder of the inner ear), vertigo (spinning sensation or dizziness, and hearing loss.

How Does Cinnarizine Work?

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine and a calcium-channel blocker. It is a non-competitive antagonist of smooth muscle contraction caused by various vasoactive agents, including histamine. It acts on the smooth muscle by selectively inhibiting the transport of calcium ions across cell membranes into depolarized cells. This reduces the availability of free calcium for the induction and maintenance of contraction. Cinnarizine helps to improve blood flow in the inner ear and reduce symptoms caused by vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and Meniere’s disease.

What Is the Onset of Action of Cinnarizine?

The absorption of Cinnarizine is relatively slow after oral administration and reaches the peak serum concentration after three to four hours. The plasma protein binding of Cinnarizine is 91 %. The drug undergoes extensive metabolism, mainly through CYP2D6. Two-thirds of the metabolites are excreted with the feces, and the remaining unchanged metabolites and glucuronide conjugates are excreted during the first five days of a single dose.

Habit-Forming:

There have been no reports of habit-forming tendencies in people taking Cinnarizine.

Expiry Date:

Avoid taking this medicine after it expires. Check for the expiry on the back of the medicine pack.

What Is the Dosage of Cinnarizine?

The recommended dose of Cinnarizine is 25 mg to 75 mg daily in divided doses.

Dosage of Cinnarizine

Taking too much Cinnarizine can cause severe side effects such as sleepiness, confusion, weak or shaky, fast, uneven, or pounding heartbeat.

How to Use Cinnarizine?

Cinnarizine tablets may be taken with or without food or one to two hours before traveling. However, taking medicine after a meal is best to avoid stomach upset. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water and not crushed or chewed. Like all other medicines, Cinnarizine should be stored in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children and pets.

Missed Dose:

In case of a missed dose of Cinnarizine, take it soon after you remember. However, do not take two tablets together as it may cause adverse reactions. Always space the doses at least eight hours apart.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

  • Hypersensitivity - Cinnarizine should not be taken if you are allergic to the drug or its components, as it can cause severe adverse effects.

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - Cinnarizine is a pregnancy category C drug and is usually not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

  • Alcohol - Avoid intake of alcohol while taking Cinnarizine, as it can cause increased drowsiness, dizziness, and lack of concentration.

  • Geriatrics - Cinnarizine should be cautiously administered in older people as it may have aggravated side effects like muscle stiffness, trembling, or jerky body movements and may cause them to fall.

  • Mind Alertness - Cinnarizine is known to cause drowsiness, dizziness, and lack of concentration and should not be taken while driving or operating machinery that may require mental alertness.

  • Parkinson's Disease - Taking Cinnarizine can aggravate or worsen the condition when taken by people with Parkinson’s disease.

  • Galactose Intolerance - Cinnarizine tablets contain lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance or glucose-galactose malabsorption should avoid taking Cinnarizine.

  • Children - Cinnarizine should not be given to children under five of age, as it can cause severe adverse effects.

  • Renal and Hepatic Insufficiency - Cinnarizine must be administered with v=cautio in patients with hepatic and renal dysfunction.

What Are the Side Effects of Cinnarizine?

Cinnarizine can cause side effects such as

  • Sleepiness.

  • Dry mouth.

  • Sweating.

  • Headache.

  • Weight gain.

  • Skin problems.

  • Lethargy.

  • Indigestion.

Some serious side effects may include

  • Slow, twitchy, or jerky body movements.

  • Muscle stiffness.

  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes- may be a sign of liver problems.

  • Joint pain.

  • Skin rash, especially in body parts exposed to the sun, such as arms, cheeks, and nose.

  • Anaphylaxis.

What Are the Interactions of Cinnarizine?

Certain medicines may interfere with the effectiveness of Cinnarizine and may also increase the risk of side effects.

Drug Interactions:

  • Central nervous systems depressants, such as Diazepam, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, and Triazolam. Taking these drugs together can increase the risk of drowsiness or sleepiness.

  • Non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics, such as Zolpidem, Eszopiclone, and Zaleplon as it increases the sedating effect of the drug.

  • Barbiturates, such as Mephobarbital, Phenobarbital, and Pentobarbital sodium.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants include Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Imipramine, Nortriptyline, Protriptyline, Trimipramine, and Zopiclone.

  • Opioid painkillers, such as Morphine, Codeine, Tramadol, and Fentanyl as it can cause severe adverse effects.

Skin Prick Test - It is advised to stop taking Cinnarizine at least 48 hours before taking any skin prick tests. The antihistamine may lessen the skin reaction indicating an allergy or make the test results unreliable.

Food Interaction:

  • Alcohol - It is advised to avoid alcohol while taking Cinnarizine as it may cause increased drowsiness, dizziness, and lack of concentration.

What Are the Common Brands or Trade Names of Cinnarizine?

  1. Tablet Cinna 25 mg.

  2. Tablet Stugeron 25 mg.

  3. Tablet Axcel Cinnarizine 25 mg.

  4. Tablet Vertizine 25 mg.

  5. Tablet Syzeron 25 mg.

  6. Tablet Cinz 25 mg.

  7. Tablet Neurozine 75 mg.

  8. Tablet Cinvert 25 mg.

  9. Tablet Cinaver 25 mg.

  10. Tablet Diznil 25 mg.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Use of Cinnarizine?

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine drug. In addition, it is a calcium channel blocker of the group called diphenyl methyl piperazine. It is primarily prescribed for vertigo and travel sickness. It is also used to treat nausea and vomiting resulting from motion sickness.

2.

What Is Meant by Cinnarizine and Dimenhydrinate?

The combination of Cinnarizine and Dimenhydrinate is prescribed for the treatment of vertigo in individuals. So, it shows improvement over the symptoms such as dizziness, nausea sickness, vomiting, and spinning sensation.

3.

What Is Cinnarizine Medicine?

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine medication that is used to treat the following conditions:
 - Vertigo.
 - Motion sickness.
 - Meniere’s disease (ear disorder causing episodes of vertigo)
 - Inner ear problems.

4.

How Long Does Cinnarizine Take To Work?

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine used predominantly for vertigo and travel sickness. The drug works to a gradual degree, taking about four hours to attain full efficacy and potency.

5.

How Does Cinnarizine Work?

Cinnarizine sorts with a class of medicines called antihistamines. It is classed as a sedating antihistamine. Hence, it alleviates the effects of histamine in the brain, improving the symptoms of travel sickness and vertigo. The drug Cinnarizine also functions as a calcium channel blocker.

6.

How Should One Take Cinnarizine for Vertigo?

 
The recommended dose for adults and children above twelve years is two tablets before two hours of travel. Then, one can take an additional dose of one tablet every eight hours if required. It is advised for children below five years to take one pill before two hours of travel with a supplementary dose of half a tablet.

7.

What Does Cinnarizine Consist Of?

Cinnarizine is an antihistamine drug. In addition, it is a calcium channel blocker of the group called diphenyl methyl piperazine. It is a derivative of piperazine, a representative sedative, antihistamine, and calcium channel-blocking activities.

8.

What Does Cinnarizine Cure?

Cinnarizine cures the following conditions by reducing the effects of histamine on the system. 
 - Travel sickness.
 - Vertigo.
 - Meniere’s disease  (ear disorders causing episodes of vertigo).
 - Balance and movement problems. 

9.

How Will Cinnarizine Help Vertigo?

Cinnarizine, an antihistamine medication, is considered a first-line therapy for treating vertigo. It works by anti-vasoconstrictor activity. So, it suppresses the blood viscosity, reducing nystagmus (involuntary and repetitive movements) in the labyrinth (innermost part of the ear).

10.

How Many Days Should One Take Cinnarizine?

The duration, frequency, and dosage of the medication Cinnarizine are based on the condition to be treated. The recommended dosage for travel sickness is two tablets before the journey with an extra dose during the travel. In contrast, the drug therapy will be for several months for other inner ear sicknesses and dizziness.

11.

How Many Hours Are to Be Left Between Each Dose of Cinnarizine?

Cinnarizine’s method of administration is oral. The recommended dose for adults and children above twelve is two tablets before two hours of travel. Then, one can take an additional dose of one tablet every eight hours if required.

12.

Can One Get an Overdose of Cinnarizine?

Studies and clinical findings reveal the report of acute Cinnarizine overdose in a specific group. The common signs of overdose include the following.
 - Alterations in consciousness.
 - Extrapyramidal symptoms.
 - Vomiting.
 - Hypotonia. 

13.

How Many Times Can One Take Cinnarizine?

Cinnarizine is prescribed for travel sickness, dizziness, and vertigo. The recommended dose is two tablets before the journey for travel sickness. Subsequently, the recommended dose is two tablets thrice a day for dizziness and illness due to inner ear problems.

14.

How Long Will Cinnarizine Last?

Cinnarizine is an ant-histamine medication that acts gradually. The elimination half-life period for Cinnarizine drugs ranges from four to twenty-four hours. After that, the metabolites get eliminated by the feces and urine.

15.

How Is Cinnarizine Absorbed?

Cinnarizine is absorbed rapidly from the gastrointestinal tract with a Tmax of two to four hours following an oral administration. It presents a good and extensive metabolism. Nevertheless, it possesses low oral bioavailability.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

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