Why Is Drixoral Not Available?


Asked by carol hall

Why Is Drixoral Not Available?


Hi Ms. Hall,

Drixoral is a combination antihistamine / decongestant made by Schering-Plough. The antihistamine component is dexbrompheniramine (6mg)  which may  relieve symptoms of itching, sneezing and nasal drainage. Dexbrompheniramine is a first generation antihistamine which means there is a significant potential to cause drowsiness and fatigue. The decongestant component  of Drixoral  is of  pseudoephedrine (120mg) which is maximum dose (per 12 hours).

I called a local Walgreen's pharmacist and  visited  a few  medical websites in order  to find the answer to your question. Drixoral is not available through Walgreens for unexplained reasons according to the pharmacist. One medical site (not Schering Co.) reported that distribution was halted, temporarily, to allow Schering to move the lab responsible for production of the drug to another site. I intend to ask a Schering pharmaceutical rep. about this.

I have spent some time trying to find equivalent allergy medications for patients when specific brands are discontinued. Your healthcare provider may be willing to do this for you. Ask your doctor about similar brands that may be available. Some people get comparable results from chlorpheniramine  or brompheniramine (in comparison to dexbrompheniramine).

Many of these older antihistamines are being outpaced by the newer generation, non-sedating brands (Claritin, Zyrtec and others). Market pressures are causing the disappearance of some of the first generation antihistamines.

Again, get advice from your doctor or pharmacist before trying a different antihistamine medication. The alternative drug  may also cause sedation and fatigue. Drug interactions (with other medications you are taking) and other possible adverse effects should also be considered.

Good Luck!

J. Thompson, MD

Here are some links to content that may be helpful:

3 Reasons to Choose Antihistamines Over Decongestants

How to Use Nasal Decongestants and Antihistamines

Antihistamine and Decongestant Side Effects

Answered by James Thompson, M.D.