What Are The Side Effects Of Allergy Medicines
Weve already addressed some of the possible side effects of allergy medicines, but they bear repeating.
Of the three antihistamines, cetirizine is most likely to make you drowsy , with loratadine in second . If you want to be sure your allergy medication wont impair your everyday functioning, take it at night before you go to bed or take fexofenadine , which is the least likely to make you drowsy.
And you shouldnt take decongestants for more than a week or two in a row, or you put yourself at risk for heart issues.
Why Does A Person Taking Allegra Live Long
Allergies do not turn into something serious in most cases and can be cured with proper medications. If a person is constantly exposed to the object that he/she is allergic to, that person might even die and Allegra will not do any good to that person. Generally, a person taking Allegra lives a long life as allergies do not cause death, and Allegra is taken for a limited time unless an above-mentioned case occurs.
A few of the times, a person taking Allegra can have side effects. Due to the side effects also a person might feel dizzy and aches in their body. It is always highly recommended that before taking any type of Allegra on their own, a doctor should always be consulted. A person suffering from kidney diseases or diabetes should take them in a lower amount as it might be harmful for their condition.
A pregnant woman should choose to avoid taking any Allegra as it might be harmful to the baby. It should only be taken if there is any kind of urgency. Lastly, Allegra is only good for a limited time and constant dosage can be harmful in the future.
Add A Nasal Steroid Spray
Antihistamines can relieve the mild congestion that comes along with most bouts of allergies, but some people may experience more severe congestion. If this sounds like you, Dr. Hays recommends using a nasal steroid spray in addition to taking an antihistamine.
Until recently, nasal steroid sprays were offered only by prescription. Now, there are a few you can buy over-the-counter, including:
“Nasal steroid sprays won’t help with all of your allergy symptoms, such as itchy and watery eyes, but they do help with nasal congestion, post-nasal drip and scratchy throat,” Dr. Hays explains.
Just like antihistamines, Dr. Hays says that nasal steroid sprays need to be used every day to be effective. The good news is that they’re also generally safe and well-tolerated.
“However, unlike antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays don’t provide quick relief from allergy symptoms,” Dr. Hays says. “It can take a few days for a nasal steroid spray to take effect.”
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Who Can Take Antihistamines
Most people can safely take antihistamines.
But speak to a pharmacist or GP for advice if you:
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- have an underlying health condition, such as heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease or epilepsy
Some antihistamines may not be suitable in these cases. A pharmacist or doctor can recommend one that’s best for you.
Always check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if it’s safe for you before taking it or giving it to your child.
What To Do If Your Usual Allergy Medications Don’t Work
Many treatments are available to ease your allergy symptoms, including nasal sprays , eye drops, and antihistamines. “Oral antihistamines help the itchy, sneezy and runny nose, while intranasal antihistamines help the itchy, sneezy, runny, and congested nose,” Rhonda J. Myers, MD, PhD, allergist with Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California, told Health. Another option is intranasal corticosteroids, which help all these symptoms but must be used daily to be effective, Dr. Myers said.
If your usual meds aren’t working, it’s time to see your healthcare provider again. “An allergist has advanced training and experience to properly diagnose your condition with a good history, examination, skin testing, or a blood test,” Dr. Fonacier said. “They can help you identify your allergy triggers, provide advice on how to avoid them, and even detect complications early.
There are several possible reasons for your meds not working, including the wrong diagnosis , high exposure to the allergen, or inability to avoid the exposure. You might also have started your treatment too late, Dr. Fonacier said. Whatever is at the root of it, your healthcare provider can help you get to the bottom of itand hopefully find some relief from the sneezing.
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What You Should Do
Work with your doctor to develop a pretreatment strategy, including how far in advance you should use medications. That plan should also include drug-free ways to avoid allergens, such as keeping air conditioning and heating filters and vents clean, keeping windows closed, wearing a mask for outdoor yard work, and avoiding going outside when pollen levels are highest.
Who Shouldnt Take Allergy Medications
Non-sedating antihistamines are relatively safe for most patients, but you should not take older antihistamines if you have prostate problems or glaucoma. You should not take decongestants if you have high blood pressure. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a healthcare professional before using allergy medications .
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Is There Anyone Who Should Not Take Zyrtec
Zyrtec is safe for most people, but there are some populations that should stay away from it. Children under 2, anyone with a history of allergic reaction to Zyrtec or hydroxyzine/piperazine derivatives, and people with severe renal impairment are all people who probably shouldn’t take Zyrtec, says Dr. Patel. For people with these conditions, Zyrtec can cause adverse health effects.
If you are pregnant and breastfeeding, Dr. Patel recommends speaking to your doctor before using it, since some women have experienced side effects. Dr. Eitches suggests taking it with caution if you’re on other medications or take some kind of sleeping aid to help you go to bed.
When in doubt, it’s best to go to your doctor with any questions before you take Zyrtec as an allergy medicine. All things considered though, youre likely to be fine when using Zyrtec, as side effects arent terribly common, Boomershine notes. Still, it’s best to be aware of potential Zyrtec side effectsespecially if you’re planning on popping the stuff on the reg over the next few months.
Dont Forget The Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays are one of the best and only ways to actually try to prevent seasonal allergies, and you can use them along with your daily antihistamine. But nasal sprays work so well that you may find that you dont even need the antihistamines or decongestants!
There are two classes of nasal sprays for allergies: over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays like fluticasone and betamethasone, and prescription antihistamine nose sprays like azelastine and olopatadine.
Nasal sprays really are the best medical therapies we have for managing allergic rhinitis, Dr. Aronica says. I tell my patients to start using nose spray at least two to three weeks before allergy season starts.
To learn more about allergies from Dr. Aronica, listen to the Health Essentials podcast episode Dealing with Spring and Summer Allergies. New episodes of the Health Essentials podcast publish every Wednesday.
How Often Can You Take Allergy Medicine
Good news for bad allergies: Antihistamines are OK for everyday use.
Long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines can be used daily, and theyre generally very safe to use, even in the long-term, Dr. Aronica says. In a pinch, you can take two in one day, but if you frequently feel like antihistamines dont help your allergy symptoms, try another type or see your allergist for their input.
And dont take a decongestant every day.
Decongestants can be used on an as-needed basis to cover difficult days but certainly for no longer than 10 to 14 days at a time, Dr. Aronica warns. They have a caffeine-like effect on your body, so they come with a risk of side effects like increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
In other words, save the decongestants for your absolute worst allergy days.
A Doctors Guide To Choosing Allergy Medicine Wisely
Allergies can pop up throughout the year. You may be tempted to grab the closest antihistamine medicine to fend off your itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose. Before you do, make sure the medicine wont do more harm than good.
There are different types of antihistamines, and some are better than others depending on your age, health, and other medications you take.
Older formulas work, but beware of side effects and bad interactions
Doctors often refer to the first type of antihistamines that were on the market as first-generation. They are great at treating allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, in some people, they can result in side effects like anxiety, confusion, feeling sleepy, blurred vision, reduced mental alertness, urinary retention and constipation. These effects are more common for anyone taking certain antidepressant medications.
Ingredients of first-generation antihistamines include brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine and doxylamine. Ask a pharmacist to help you compare products and read the labels if the print is too small. Some of the brand names for these products include Dimetapp Cold & Allergy, Chlor-Trimeton, Tavist, Benadryl, Vicks NyQuil and Tylenol Cold and Cough Nighttime.
The labels should also include warnings that people with certain medical conditions should not take first-generation antihistamines. Ask your doctor before use if you have:
- high blood pressure
Another option nasal steroid sprays
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Shower Immediately After Being Outside
When you spend a lot of time outside, particularly if youre working out in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and hair, worsening allergy symptoms. If youre highly allergic to pollen, its a good idea to take a second shower after you come inside to rinse away the pollen and avoid allergy symptoms, explains Mark S. Dykewicz, MD, a professor of internal medicine and the director of allergy and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Talk With Your Doctor About Seasonal Allergy Testing Or Allergy Shots
Allergy testing can help your care provider diagnose your exact allergies and come up with a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.
Allergy tests are pretty simple. The tests are performed on your skin at a clinic that offers allergy testing. This determines what allergens are causing your symptoms.
Depending on how severe your allergies appear to be, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy with allergy shots to help reduce and maybe even eliminate your bodys reaction to environmental allergens.
These shots help teach your body to not be allergic and are given over the course of a couple of years until a target dose is reached. Once the right dosage has been reached, your doctor will work with you on a maintenance schedule.
Allergy shots are the most effective way of treating allergies and work better than most prescription medications. A course of allergy shots can give you long-term symptom relief that could last for 5-10 years. Many people have symptom relief the rest of their life. You can discuss the cost of allergy shots with your insurance provider.
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What Happens If I Stop Taking Antihistamines Daily
Side effects are rare if you abruptly discontinue antihistamines after regular use. There are typically no rebound symptomsit is important to keep in mind that if the antihistamine is working well and is withdrawn, there will be a recurrence of the symptoms the antihistamine was treating, Dr. Tilles says.
If you do experience side effects after ending a daily antihistamine, they are usually mild. Some people who use antihistamines regularly and then stop suddenly may have side effects of itchy skin and disrupted sleep, Dr. Lin says.
Which Allergy Medications Can You Mix
Depending on your symptoms, some allergy medications can be safe to use in combination. Generally, you can use an antihistamine with a decongestant .
However, you dont want to double up allergy medications. For example, you generally wouldnt want to take Claritin in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening .
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When Do Antihistamines Expire
Antihistamines, one of the main types of allergy medicine, can be safe to use after the expiration date.
For over-the-counter medicines like Claritin and Zyrtec, the listed expiration dates are typically around two and a half years after manufacturing. Expiration dates for prescription antihistamines are around one year, according to New Jersey-based pharmacist Kristin Frank.
OTC and prescription tablets are similar in makeup, and therefore can last the same amount of time. But prescriptions, , cannot have longer than one-year expiration dates.
All allergy medicines are regulated by the FDA, which takes a strict, no-leeway stance on expired medicine for utmost safety and effectiveness. But a 2012 study in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal found that expired medicines, including antihistamines, can remain effective for decades.
The researchers studied the active ingredients in a set of decades-old drugs. Twelve of the 14 medications tested, including the antihistamine, retained full potency for at least 28 years. So why do antihistamines have a one-to-two-year shelf life?
According to Frank, manufacturers suggest expiration dates based on how long the active ingredients can stay potent. Manufacturers submit this research, which factors in storage variables like heat and humidity, when applying for drug approval to the FDA.
Find Out What The Pollen Level Is In Your Area
Knowing the pollen count can help you plan an attack for allergy symptoms. How can you find out? Just turn on your favorite weather report. Many reports include the pollen count in your area. Or, go online to Pollen.com.
Taking a trip? The pollen count may be higher where youre headed. Check the count at your destination and take along medications just in case.
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Do Check In With Your Doctor
If youre dealing with nasal symptoms year-round, Macy advises, its a good idea to visit a doctor and discuss more effective treatment options.
Basically it comes down to: See an allergist, figure out what the cause of the problem is, and get it dealt with than taking antihistamines to paint over rust, he says.
Immunotherapy treatmentsallergy shots and dropsdecrease a persons sensitivity to pollen, dust mites, and other irritants. They work by exposing the immune system to gradually increasing doses of the allergen and can provide long-term relief, Nimmagadda says.
All these medications are used after the fact you have symptoms and you use medication to control the symptoms, he says. Immunotherapy blocks the symptoms from even starting.
Common Side Effects Of Antihistamine
Over-the-counter antihistamines come with a variety of different side effects. Some of the less common side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating . Some of the antihistamines more common side effects include headache, fatigue, dry eyes, and itching. Some antihistamines have been known to cause hallucinations, delusions, and trouble sleeping in extreme cases.
People who take antihistamines regularly may build up a tolerance to the drug, which means they need to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect. This can lead to addiction. Antihistamines are often addictive because they work by blocking histamine receptors.
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Does Allergy Medicine Expire Yes But It May Still Be Effective
- Allergy medicine expires, but it may still be effective for up to two or more years after the expiration date.
- Liquid allergy medicine, such as nasal sprays, tend to expire earlier than antihistamine tablets, and they will lose effectiveness more quickly after expiring.
- This article was medically reviewed by Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, otolaryngologist and laryngologist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s Pacific Eye, Ear & Skull Base Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Seasonal Allergies.
Yes, allergy medicine will expire eventually. However, depending on the type of medication, you may still get some relief after the expiration date has passed.
Over-the-counter and prescription antihistamine tablets tend to stay effective longer than liquid medicines, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays.
Here’s what you need to know about when the different types of allergy medicine expire and how long after they may still be effective to take.
What Is An Antihistamine
To understand antihistamines, its good to first know what histamine is. This important chemical plays a part in regulating many of your bodys physiologic functions. Its also involved in local immune responses.
Histamine is stored in immune cells called mast cells, Dr. Aronica explains. When your body encounters something youre allergic to , these mast cells are triggered to release their contents, which then cause allergy symptoms.
Histamine is the main chemical responsible for the itching associated with allergies. It can also cause your blood vessels to be more permeable , which causes stuffiness. Antihistamines, then, are medications that block some of the effects of histamine.
Allergists recommend long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines ones that wont make you sleepy for everyday use. Though you may know them by their brand names, the generic versions tackle the same problems:
- Cetirizine .
- Fexofenadine .
- Loratadine .
Diphenhydramine, commonly known as Benadryl®, is also an antihistamine, but it isnt recommended for everyday allergies. Its short-acting and very sedating, which can impact your day-to-day work and your ability to operate machinery .
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