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!
What Happens If You Take Antihistamines Too Often
It doesnt matter whether you have seasonal allergies or allergies to the air, an antihistamine can help relieve symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, sore throat, and watery eyes. A high dose of antihistamine can, however, cause an overdose or poisoning. Make sure you read the medicine label carefully and dont take more than you are prescribed.
How Does This Medication Work What Will It Do For Me
Cetirizine belongs to the class of medications called second-generation antihistamines, specifically the class known as histamine receptor antagonists. For adults and children 2 years of age and older, it is used for the relief of symptoms associated with seasonal allergies including sneezing itchy nose and throat stuffy and runny nose and tearing, red, or itchy eyes. It is also used for the relief of symptoms associated with allergic skin conditions such as itchy skin and hives. For adults and children over the age of 12 years, it is also used for the relief of symptoms associated with year-round allergies and hives.
Cetirizine works by blocking the actions of one of the bodys natural chemicals known as histamine. Histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms caused by allergies.
Cetirizine usually starts to relieve allergy symptoms within 20 minutes and lasts for 24 hours.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
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Antihistamines Can Have Side Effects Especially When Mixed With Other Medications
Dr. Sandra Lin of John Hopkins School of Medicine told SingleCare that taking an antihistamine daily is usually okay. Her warning: “patients should make sure do not interact with their other medications.”
David Shih, the executive vice president of strategy and former chief medical officer at CityMD, echoed Dr. Lin’s sentiment, saying that since most allergy medications are available over the counter, they’re generally safe for long-term use. Still, if you’re taking daily ibuprofen, or medication for anxiety, or have a regular prescription, you might want to proceed with caution.
“When you’re on these medicines for such a long period of time, sometimes patients tend to forget they’re on it,” Shih said. “If you mix with other medication, it can certainly have greater side effects” .
When You Take Allergy Medicine Every Day This Is What Happens
Spring is a great time of year. The weather gets warmer, the days get longer, but if you’re prone to allergies, the increased dust, pollen, and everything in between can make the season unbearable.
Antihistamines, or allergy medicines, are used to control how much histamine, a chemical made by the immune system in response to allergens, the body produces. But like a lot of medications, allergy pills come with side effects, which can include drowsiness, dry mouth, weight gain, an increased heart rate, headaches, a sore throat, and nausea.
There can also be rare side effects when a person abruptly stops taking allergy pills after regular use. According to Sandra Lin, MD, a professor and the vice director of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at John Hopkins School of Medicine, halting pill usage can result in itchy skin and disrupted sleep .
But what happens when someone takes medicine for allergies every single day for an extended period of time? Is that okay? Is it harmful? After all, 50 million Americans must put up with an array of allergens each year .
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Is It Bad To Take Allegra
It is usually taken once or twice daily to take Allegra-D. It is recommended to take one tablet twice daily, one tablet 180/240 mg once daily, or one tablet 60/120 mg twice daily. The recommended daily dose for people with kidney disease and the elderly is one tablet. It is recommended that you do not consume any food while taking Allegra-D.
I Tend To Get Tree Allergies What’s The Best Way To Avoid Getting Allergy Symptoms
Since tree pollen tends to trigger allergy symptoms in the spring, prepare for the season by starting allergy medications before you anticipate symptoms to appear . Try to avoid going outside, especially in the morning or on dry, windy days. Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning instead. Take a shower and wash your hair after being outside to wash off pollen. Avoid drying your clothes outside during pollen allergy season.
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Is Your Allergy Medication Making You Gain Weight
Allergy season is here. We are experiencing record pollen counts this year and you may be experiencing symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Many people treat seasonal allergies with over-the-counter antihistamines, but did you know that these medications could be making you gain weight?
Studies have shown that people with obesity are more prone to allergies, and this may have to do with the medications used to treat seasonal allergies. Scientists from Yale University published a study in 2010 in the journal Obesity showing that people who took antihistamines gained weight.
Histamine is known to affect body weight. The appetite control center of the brain known as the hypothalamus contains receptors for histamine. When histamine receptors are blocked by an antihistamine medication, the brain doesnt receive the Im full signal like it normally would. The body also cant burn calories effectively when the histamine receptor is blocked, lowering metabolism. These biological changes result in increased appetite, overeating, slower fat breakdown and weight gain. Antihistamines can also make you feel tired and unmotivated to exercise.
Antihistamines that can cause weight gain include:
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.
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What Is A Pollen Count
Many cities offer daily pollen counts during allergy season. Pollen is the substance plants such as trees, weeds, and grasses use to fertilize new seeds for growth and is the substance that people with seasonal allergies are allergic to. A pollen count is the number of grains of pollen per cubic meter, usually measured over a 24-hour period. Depending on the time of year, counts for specific pollen are higher than for other pollen. For example, tree pollen counts are higher in the spring and ragweed pollen counts are higher in the fall. Pollen counts are also highest in the morning.
How Do Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays Work
Corticosteroids work to inhibit the body’s inflammatory response to reduce the inflammation that’s involved in an allergic reaction. In allergic rhinitis, the body produces different chemicals that cause inflammation in the nose and nasal passages, leading to bothersome nasal symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, itching, and sneezing. Nasal corticosteroids reduce inflammation by stopping these chemicals from forming, thereby decreasing allergy symptoms.
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Be Smart Be Aware Of Allergy Medication Side Effects
Smart use of allergy medications knowing how they treat symptoms, being aware of potential unwanted side effects and, most important, monitoring their effect on you and your health is just one step toward controlling allergy and cold symptoms. Even more important: knowing what you are allergic to and taking steps to prevent or reduce exposure.
If your allergy symptoms tend to last longer than two weeks or are not adequately controlled with over-the-counter medications, schedule an appointment with a board-certified allergist for a full diagnosis.
Antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids are intended for symptom relief. If antihistamines or intranasal corticosteroids are causing side effects such as drowsiness or other problems, there are other treatment options your doctor can offer you, such as allergen immunotherapy.
Reviewed by Dennis Williams, PharmD
8229 Boone Blvd, Suite 260, Vienna, VA 22182
What Are The Drug Interactions For Allergy Medications
Antihistamines may interact with:
Drugs with anticholinergic activity such as amitryptiline and other tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics like chlorpromazine, certain drugs to prevent vomiting (prochlorperazine and promethazine.
Corticosteroids may interact with:
Leukotriene inhibitors may interact with:
Oral decongestants may interact with:
Antidepressants, other cold or allergy medications, drugs used to treat migraines and high blood pressure.
Topical immunomodulators may interact with:
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Avoid Opening Windows Once Spring Hits
It can be hard to resist the allure of a warm spring breeze once the temperature rises, but opening your windows when seasonal allergies are at their peak is like giving pollen an open invitation to invade your living space and cause allergy symptoms. Keeping your windows closed and using an air conditioner with an allergy filter can be an effective way of treating allergies and may help you breathe better, says Dykewicz.
Nasal Steroids Side Effects
Serious side effects with nasal steroid sprays are rare because very little of these medicines are actually absorbed by the body. They do, however, carry the risk of nasal tissue inflammation. Thats why its important to have regular check-ups with a provider when using these medications for long periods of time.
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Allergy Medication Side Effects
Older antihistamines are associated with drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, blurry vision, a dry mouth/nose and throat, and difficulty urinating. The newer antihistamines are usually well tolerated but can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and stomach problems.
Mast cell stabilizers can cause a short-lived stinging sensation inside the nose.
Nasal decongestants may cause a temporary burning, stinging, or dryness in the nose, a runny nose, and sneezing. Oral decongestants may cause dizziness, headache, nervousness, fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, and sleep problems.
Topical corticosteroids for skin allergies can cause burning, itching, redness, and changes to skin color and thinning of skin.
Topical immunomodulators for skin allergies may cause stinging, burning, irritation, and itching at the application site. They may also cause headache and flu symptoms.
What About Antihistamines In Cold And Flu Medications
What many people may not know is that cold and flu medicines marketed to treat runny nose and sneezing usually include first-generation antihistamines the more sedating types. Thats because they are often better at treating cold symptoms and drying up runny nose than the newer types.
Because of their sedating effect, cold medicines with antihistamines are labeled for nighttime use. Take this labeling seriously, as some include medications like doxylamine that are more sedating than others. Check labels for dosages, as well, as these may vary, even within brands.
More is not better read labels carefully and take only as recommended. Dont supplement a multi-symptom cold medication with another single-ingredient antihistamine.
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Are Antihistamines Safe For Dogs
Diphenhydramine is a common medication used to treat allergies, hives, food allergies, anxiety and other conditions in dogs. However, you should consult your veterinarian about the use of diphenhydramine in your pet. The dosage in dogs is based on their weight plus your veterinarian will want to examine your dog to be sure an antihistamine is the correct drug for the correct diagnosis. If an antihistamine is needed, your veterinarian will want to prescribe a brand that is specific to animals and at a dosage correct for your pet.
When Is It Time To Try A Different Allergy Medication
Its not unusual for people to say their medication has worn off midway through allergy season. Many people believe its because theyve developed a tolerance to their regimen, but this is most likely not the case, as its not common for people to develop a resistance to these medications.
So then why is your allergy medication suddenly not working as well? Well, there are several possible reasons, including a change to the type of pollen in the environment, your body developing a new allergy, and changes to your stress levels. Its also possible youre not using your medication correctly, especially when it comes to nasal sprays, which take some practice to use properly.
But if you know youre using your medication appropriately, youve lowered your stress levels, and youre taking steps to avoid being exposed to pollen and other allergens, then it might be time to change medications. Sometimes, all you need to do is try another medication within the same class, such as switching from Claritin to Allegra or changing from Flonase to Nasacort. If that doesnt seem to help, its time to see your primary care provider or an allergy specialist.
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What Is A Common Medication Mistake That People With Allergies Make
People with allergies often take their medications only when they have symptoms that bother them. But to get the most out of your allergy medication, it’s best to take it regularly, even when you are not experiencing symptoms. This ensures that you get optimal relief from your medication.
For example, if you’re using a medication for seasonal allergies, they are most effective if you start them before you experience symptoms. So it’s important to know when your symptoms start each year and to take your medication regularly, as prescribed by your doctor and until the end of the allergy season.
Antihistamine Side Effects You Should Know
Like most allergy sufferers, I rely on medication to manage my symptoms. But antihistamine side effectssome of which may be unexpectedcan make taking these drugs a complex experience. Of course, all drugs come with the risk for some side effects, and even with those side effects, the benefits of taking a medication may still be worth it. But it’s always better not to be surprised by them.
Im something of an antihistamine connoisseur, you might say. In my decades-long quest to stop sneezing at seemingly every green thing outside, Ive taken pretty much every over-the-counter antihistamine out there, as well as a few prescription ones. And during that journey, Ive learned that some medications make me extremely sleepy while others dry my mouth out so much I spend the day chugging La Croix. Sometimes its just the price you have to pay for a day without eyes swollen shut!
In one particularly memorable episode, a friends adorable and very friendly Australian shepherd licked my neck while at a picnic in the park. I broke out in hives, popped a Benadryl, and spent the second half of the afternoon sound asleep in the grass while my friends carried on their party around me.
All of this is to say that, as much as I love and depend on the effects of antihistamines, you have to know what youre getting into when you take themespecially with regards to their potential side effects.
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