Treating Skin Allergies With Chlorpheniramine for Dogs

Chlorpheniramine for dogs is an effective antihistamine used to treat skin allergies and other allergic reactions. Skin allergies in dogs cause irritation, itchiness, rashes and even hair loss. The allergies may be caused by food, parasites or other irritants such as shampoos, soaps or dust, pollen and mold.

What is Chlorpheniramine?

Chlorpheniramine belongs to the antihistamine class of drugs. The antihistamines are used to relieve allergies and act as inhibitors for the histamines that are produced in the body and cause allergic reactions.

Chlorpheniramine may relieve symptoms such as watery eyes, urticaria, runny nose, itchiness, sneezing and may also be used to relieve common symptoms of the flu or cold.

Dosage and Administration for Skin Allergies

Chlorpheniramine may be prescribed as tablets, capsules or in liquid form. Generally speaking, to relieve the skin allergies, chlorpheniramine should be administrated 1 to 2 times per day in doses of 2 to 8 mg.

Don't crush the tablets or capsules. Don't use chlorpheniramine without a prescription. Ask your vet for the right dosage.

Chlorpheniramine Side Effects

Chlorpheniramine has side effects. It is a sedative, but is weaker than any other antihistamines, which is why it is preferred by many vets.

Chlorpheniramine may cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vision problems (in rare cases)

Make sure your pet is not allergic to chlorpheniramine or other antihistamines, as it may cause a shock or even coma.


Chlorpheniramine is not recommended for pregnant dogs, dogs with high blood pressure, prostate disease, hyperthyroidism, urinary or intestinal obstructions.

If combined with cold medication such as acetaminophen or anti-depressants, there might be allergic reactions.

Remove Irritants

To make sure the treatment is effective, you need to get rid of the irritants or limit your pet's access to the allergens that cause the skin allergies. Determine if your dog is allergic to shampoo, pollens or flea bites, or if the rashes are caused by some type of food. The vet can run some tests to determine the allergens.

If the dog‘s skin allergy is due to parasites, you will have to get parasite treatment as well.

Remember that the skin irritation persists even after you have removed the allergens, but will disappear after a few days of treatment. If the allergy is severe, some corticosteroids such as prednisone may be also prescribed.

Additional Recommendations

  • Topical ointments containing steroids will relieve itchiness and speed up the healing process.
  • Switch to an antibacterial or special formula shampoo that will be gentle on your dog's skin.
  • Add supplements of fatty acids in your pet's diet.
  • Alternatives to chlorpheniramine or antihistamines treatment are: allergy shots or steroid treatment.
  • Chlorpheniramine relieves allergies and it may also act as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.