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Cyproheptadine to Boost Appetite

Cyproheptadine to Boost Appetite

Cyproheptadine can boost appetite


For those who are having difficulty gaining weight despite all other non-medications measures being tried,, I do recommend trying cyproheptadine, nightly. From a thorough review article published in 2019, Cyproheptadine “appears to be a safe, generally well-tolerated medication that has utility in helping facilitate weight gain in patients drawn from a variety of underweight populations.”

For 5-12 year olds, we start at 2mg (½ of a tablet) nightly and see how that goes for 1-2 weeks. If it’s working but not well enough, we increase to 4mg nightly.
For those 13 and older we start at 4mg per night.
Dose range is usually 4 to 8mg.

Here is more info on Cyproheptadine:
Cyproheptadine (brand name Periactin) is a medication that has mostly antihistaminergic properties, like benadryl. Unlike benadryl it also interacts with serotonin, dopamine, and acetyl-choline receptors in the brain.

It is used for many conditions, including:
Stimulating appetite
Hay Hayfever & allergic reactions
Migraine prevention
Cyclic vomiting syndrome
Chronic stomach upset and Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in children:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28287686
Restlessness caused by certain medications
Psychogenic itch (chronic itching/chronic pruritis)

It is usually well tolerated but it is sedating for most, so we recommend taking it at nighttime.

Here is a great review article that outlines the evidence behind using it as an appetite stimulant:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30825493

Posted by David Danish MD