How To Take Antihistamines
Depending on your symptoms, you can take antihistamines:
- Every day, to help keep daily symptoms under control
- Only when you have symptoms
- Before being exposed to things that often cause your allergy symptoms, such as a pet or certain plants
For many people with allergies, symptoms are the worst around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Taking an antihistamine at bedtime may help you or your child feel better in the morning during allergy season.
So What Is The Best Allergy Medication
As described above, there are a few things to consider when selecting the right allergy medication. How quickly you need relief, your symptoms, side effects, and cost can all factor into your decision.
Fast-acting medications like decongestants and antihistamines work quickly if youre experiencing symptoms. And while antihistamines can be taken daily, decongestants should only be used as needed short term.
Antihistamines and intranasal steroids can be good options for preventing symptoms from happening if taken daily before allergy season hits. Experts currently recommended intranasal steroids as first-choice treatment for people with persistent symptoms.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all antihistamines are created equal Benadryl can make you feel drowsy, whereas Allegra and Claritin may be less sedating. Since all antihistamines may cause some drowsiness, its best to see how you respond to them before engaging in activities that require alertness or concentration.
How Are Antihistamines Classified
Antihistamines are divided into two major subtypes. The first subtype is called H-1 receptor antagonists or H-1 blockers. This subtype of antihistamines is used to treat allergy symptoms. The second subtype is called H-2 receptor antagonists or H-2 blockers. They are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease , peptic ulcers, gastritis, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting. The naming structure tells doctors and scientists the cell type the location of the histamine receptor that the antihistamine medication blocks.
The H-1 blocker subtype is further broken down into two groups first-generation antihistamines and second-generation antihistamines.
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The 4 Best Natural Antihistamines
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If you have seasonal allergies, you know they can be challenging. Sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure these symptoms can become difficult to tolerate.
Youve likely used many over-the-counter solutions to attempt to lessen these seasonal symptoms and may want to try something else. Theres evidence that completely natural solutions may ease your symptoms.
Whether its called hay fever, allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, numerous drugs both prescription and OTC are available to help combat these cold-like symptoms. But some of these medications have their own lengthy list of side effects.
Understanding how antihistamines work can help you better understand how natural antihistamines can be an ally during allergy season.
Can My Child Become Tolerant To Antihistamines
Not really. There are many reasons why these medications may no longer offer benefit. Most commonly, they are used inappropriately for symptoms that do not improve with antihistamines. For example, nasal congestion does not improve with antihistamines, which only treat sneezing and itching. The dose may also need to be increased with age or growth.
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Is It Ok To Take Claritin And Benadryl / Can I Take Benadryl 12 Hours After Claritin
Its not recommended to take Claritin and Benadryl together. Because they have similar side effects, taking them together can increase the risk of adverse effects. Claritin has a relatively long half-life so it may not be safe to take Benadryl 12 hours after Claritin. Consult a doctor for medical advice before taking multiple antihistamines.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need an antihistamine?
- Can I take one over the counter, or do I need a prescription?
- Which over-the-counter type of antihistamine is the best for my symptoms?
- What are the side effects of this type or brand?
- Is there anything I should avoid doing while Im taking an antihistamine?
- How long should I take it?
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Conditions Treated By Zyrtec And Benadryl
When the FDA approved Zyrtec as a prescription product in 1995, it had three indications: to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis, perennial allergic rhinitis, or chronic urticaria. Zyrtec has been available over the counter since 2007. While those indications still apply, the packaging information states that Zyrtec is used for temporary relief of runny nose, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, and itching of the nose/throat due to hay fever or other respiratory allergies.
Benadryls packaging information states that the medication can be used for temporary relief of allergy symptoms caused by hay fever or other allergies. Benadryl is also used to treat runny noses and sneezing from the common cold.
Zyrtec Vs Benadryl: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You
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Sneezing, runny eyes, feeling itchy all overthese are typical allergy symptoms that can make you feel miserable. If you suffer from allergy symptoms, youre not alone. Over 50 million Americans experience allergies throughout the year. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness every year.
There is no cure for allergies, but youll undoubtedly see plenty of allergy medications when visiting your local pharmacy. Zyrtec and Benadryl are two popular over-the-counter medications used to alleviate allergy symptoms. Both medicines are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration .
Zyrtec and Benadryl are antihistamines, or H1 receptor blockers. They work by blocking histamine. Histamine is a substance your body makes during an allergic reaction, causing those pesky symptoms. By blocking histamine, Zyrtec and Benadryl help relieve allergy symptoms.
Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine. First-generation antihistamines tend to cause more sedation and drowsiness and can impair coordination and driving. Zyrtec is a second-generation antihistamine. Although Zyrtec can still cause drowsiness and other side effects, the drug tends to cause less drowsiness and fewer side effects in general and is safer if you need to drive or operate machinery.
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Why Its Time To Rethink Our Use Of Benadryl
Did you know that pilots are not allowed to fly for 30 hours after taking even one dose of Benadryl? This is due to the potential for sedation and profound impairment that can slow reflexes and interfere with motor skills. Yet parents and pediatricians routinely give this medication to infants and children of all ages for a myriad of reasons. Diphenhydramine, brand name Benadryl®, is one of the oldest and most frequently used over-the-counter medications for children. However, many better options are now widely available, all of which are faster acting, longer lasting, with less side effects.
Antihistamines counteract the effect of histamine throughout the body, and treat a range of symptoms including itching, hives, sneezing, and runny nose. Older 1st generation antihistamines such as Benadryl® are not very selective and interfere with many other pathways in the body, causing side effects. Newer 2nd generation antihistamines offer the same benefit in counteracting histamine but are much more selective in their mechanism of action.
Its challenging to try and undo 60 years of routine use of Benadryl®. Change can be hard to understand or accept. Its important to remain current to provide the best care we can to children. Misconceptions surrounding Benadryl® are common here are some of the common questions I receive from parents and medical professionals.
How Long Will It Take For My Allergy Medication To Work
When youre experiencing allergy symptoms, you want to feel better and fast. But because each product works differently and treats specific symptoms, its important that you select one that will help you the most.
If youre looking for fast congestion relief, oral decongestants can start working in 15 to 30 minutes and nasal sprays can start alleviating congestion right away.
Antihistamines usually start working within 1 to 2 hours, depending on the product youre taking. You can also find antihistamine nasal sprays, like Astelin , that work in as little as 15 minutes.
Nasal steroids, on the other hand, take the longest to provide a benefit sometimes a few weeks. Thats why theyre better for symptom prevention instead of treating symptoms as they happen.
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Can Benadryl Be Crushed
Benadryl tablets can be crushed. If you have trouble swallowing whole tablets, Benadryl liquid solution and chewable tablets are available.
Benadryl is an antihistamine. If you have allergies or have a cold, your body releases a chemical messenger called histamine. This messenger causes symptoms such as inflammation, edema , itchiness, and runny nose.
Benadryl blocks some of the effects of histamine and decreases some of the symptoms caused by it.
Is It Safe To Take Antihistamines With Other Medicines
Some medicines may interact with antihistamines, increasing the side-effects of either or both medicines. Usually it is better to avoid taking antihistamines at the same time as certain medicines, including:
- Certain types of antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and lofepramine may interact with antihistamines. Other antidepressants such as moclobemide.
- Antacids, which may interfere with the way the antihistamine is absorbed, thus making it less effective.
- Other tablets which make you drowsy, as the combination may be too much. For example opioid painkillers or benzodiazepines and Z drugs.
- A group of medicines called antimuscarinics. This includes medicines such as hyoscine, oxybutynin, propantheline and tolterodine. Because these medicines can give you similar side-effects, such as a dry mouth or problems passing urine, the combination may make the side-effects more serious.
If you are buying your antihistamine from a pharmacy, make sure you tell the pharmacist if you take other medicines so they can advise accordingly.
Also watch the ingredients in other over-the-counter treatments. For example, remedies for coughs and colds may contain antihistamines, in which case you might end up taking double the dose by mistake.
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What Drugs Interact With Claritin
Claritin interact with different drugs. Benadryl may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors , other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or insomnia medications, anxiety or sleep medicines, antidepressants, or any other medications that make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed.
Claritin may interact with certain antibiotics, antifungal medications, and acid-reducing drugs.
Can Benadryl Make My Child Sleepy
Yes, one of the main side effects is sedation. This can make children very drowsy, to the point of falling asleep. In addition, sedation can cause lingering confusion and significantly impair gross motor and even affect learning abilities. This can be a big problem when it comes to school performance.
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Is Benadryl Or Claritin More Effective
While Benadryl and Claritin are similarly effective for treating allergy symptoms, Claritin has less sedating side effects. Claritin is often preferred over Benadryl for this reason.
According to guidelines developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians , second-generation antihistamines are recommended to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as sneezing and itching.
Other guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggest using a nasal steroid such as Flonase or Nasacort for allergic rhinitis before adding the use of an oral antihistamine.
Research from a literature review found that newer antihistamines such as loratadine are safer than first-generation antihistamines. The study also compared other second-generation antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Allegra . The study found that cetirizine or fexofenadine may be more effective than loratadine.
Choosing an antihistamine depends on your overall condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine which treatment option may best for you.
How Can I Use Benadryl For My Dogs Allergies
Benadryl is an antihistamine which means its effective at preventing the most common allergy symptoms, though you shouldnt try giving any medicine to your dog if their airway is constricted.Dosage: The most common form of Benadryl contains diphenhydramine, though some formulations contain cetirizine instead . Cetirizine is also an effective antihistamine but is dosed slightly differently and is usually only used to treat dermatitis.Diphenhydramine Diphenhydramine is usually given to dogs at a dose of 1 mg/lb body weight every 8 hours, but from time to time a dose of 2 mg/lb is used instead. Regular strength pills contain 25 mg, but smaller dogs may be better suited to childrens Benadryl which contains smaller amounts of active ingredient.Cetirizine The most commonly recommended dose of cetirizine is as follows.
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What Are The Main Differences Between Zyrtec And Benadryl
Zyrtec and Benadryl are brand names for cetirizine and diphenhydramine, respectively. Zyrtec and Benadryl are both antihistamines that block histamine receptors and provide allergy relief. Both products are available in brand and generic and in various formulations to suit multiple ages and patient preferences.
|Main differences between Zyrtec and Benadryl|
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How To Take Benadryl
Use Benadryl exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Diphenhydramine is only for short-term use until your symptoms clear up.
Taking too much diphenhydramine can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or death.
Always follow directions on the medicine label about giving diphenhydramine to a child. Do not use the medicine only to make a child sleepy. Death can occur from the misuse of antihistamines in very young children.
For motion sickness, take diphenhydramine 30 minutes before you will be in a situation that causes you motion sickness . Continue taking diphenhydramine with meals and at bedtime for the rest of the time you will be in a motion-sickness situation.
As a sleep aid, take diphenhydramine within 30 minutes before bedtime.
You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Remove an orally disintegrating tablet from the package only when you are ready to take the medicine. Place the tablet in your mouth and allow it to dissolve, without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves.
Do not use diphenhydramine for longer than 2 weeks to treat sleep problems, or longer than 7 days to treat cold or allergy symptoms.
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Precautions To Be Kept In Mind
Speak to your doctor before taking this medicine in case you are allergic to the medicine or any of its components. There could be some inactive ingredients in this product which could be allergic to you. Hence always look at the ingredient list and discuss with the doctor to make sure that you are not allergic to any of it.
Before consuming this medicine, make sure to discuss about your entire medical history including breathing issues like asthma, hypertension, cardiac issues, liver or kidney diseases and other severe medical conditions with your doctor.
This drug could induce drowsiness or dizziness and hence must be avoided when driving, operating heavy machinery or undertaking any activity that requires concentration and focus. Avoid having alcohol when consuming this medicine. If you are scheduled for a surgery, speak to your doctor if you have been consuming this medication recently to avoid any ambiguity.
Although allergies are troublesome, they can be managed very well with the right information and conscious effort. Speak to your doctor about the various ways that can help you manage your allergies effectively and in the most healthy manner.
Benadryl For Nausea Or Motion Sickness
Over-the-counter Benadryl products arent approved to treat symptoms of motion sickness. However, Benadryl is often used to treat these symptoms.
Benadryl is often effective for reducing symptoms of motion sickness, but it can cause sleepiness. Other medications are considered a first-choice treatment for people who need to relieve motion sickness but want to stay awake while traveling.
If you get symptoms of motion sickness, talk with your doctor about treatment options before you travel.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What type of antihistamine would work best for me?
- How do I proper take the prescribed antihistamine?
- What side effects might occur with the recommended medication?
- What antihistamine wont interfere with the current medications I am taking?
- When, or for what conditions, does taking an antihistamine that would make me drowsy make sense?
- Can I live my life normally while using this medication? Can I drive? Can I operate heavy machinery?
- Can I take antihistamines if I am pregnant, planning to become pregnancy or am breastfeeding?
- Can antihistamines be safely given to my child?
- What are the consequences if I dont take an antihistamine to help with my allergies?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Histamine is on your side. The chemical does its best to regulate help your heart and lungs and protect your body from foreign allergens, among other roles. But it can be oversensitive, and it can overreact, and thats where antihistamines can help. If youre have allergies, stomach symptoms or any of the other conditions and symptoms mentioned in this article, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Your symptoms may be able to be treated.
Always check with your healthcare provider and your pharmacist if you have concerns about antihistamines, and always follow the directions on the labels!