What is Dimetindenmaleat in English?

I flew to Russia a couple of weeks ago, and noticed on the 8 hour flight to Munich that I’d what I’d thought was just a mosquito bite I’d picked up mowing the lawn just before leaving was actually a bite from a North Carolina fire ant! I may be more allergic than some, but for me at least this is a very painful and itchy bite, that usually swells and reddens the skin for 2-4 inches around the bite and is painful for about four days. Needless to say I was not happy about this start to my vacation!

In the Munich airport we bought something recommended by a small pharmacy, and it was very effective, much better than the hydrocortisone or other things I’ve used before (none of which ever seemed to help much). Not only did this relieve pain, swelling and redness but actually seemed to decrease healing time. The woman described it only as an antihistamine. The brand name is Fenistil and the active ingredient (in German) is Dimetindenmaleat. All google searches just turn up german medical articles or the brand, and Altavista BabelFish is no help either. I’m trying to figure out what this is in English - I’d like to be able to buy it in the states!

Poke around under “fenistil” instead, to find the active ingredient in English. It seems to be dimethindene maleate, which seems to fit:

A product we have used in our family is called After Bite. It works really well to get rid of the itching and swelling of mosquito bites. The active ingredient is (are you ready for this?) ammonia.

Thanks, that definitely seems to fit, though I’m having a hard time finding references to topical medicines available in the US. When I try similar searches with dyphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl), I turn up a lot more US results. I hadn’t realized that there were topical applications for Benadryl; so maybe I’ll try that if I can’t get Fenistil here. I know Benadryl works if I take it orally but it makes me so tired that I can’t use it.

The English name (the generic name of the drug) is ‘dimethindene maleate’. The systematic name (of the free base) is 2-(1-(2-(2-Dimethylaminoethyl)inden-3-yl)ethyl)pyridine, and the CAS number is 5636-83-9. You can find more detailed information here (warning: the structure page crashed my browser).

The drug is sold as Fenistil by Novartis in Germany and, it seems, Switzerland. It does not appear to be available in the USA. Since it’s over-the-counter in Germany, it may not be terribly difficult to import. However, effective topic and oral drugs of a similar class should be available over-the-counter in the USA. Probably the most common is Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCl), which is not at all similar chemically to Fenistil. Topical remedies include hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, and After Bite.

My Google searches were quite productive and turned up mostly medical information, not all of it in German. Search for the English name (dimethindene maleate) and the trade name (Fenistil). For more technical information, use the CAS number (5636-83-9). I did find several online pharmacies that sold the product. Of course, I can’t be sure of the legality of importing this drug – check whether it’s permitted to import foreign over-the-counter medications in your area first.

I knew you were going to mention Fenistil before finishing reading your post. :slight_smile: We have it in Greece too. I guess it is common in Europe.