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What Are Antihistamines

Updated on May 1, 2011

Pharmacology 101

Sniffling, sneezing, headaches, itchy eyes, runny nose, these are some of the symptoms many suffer every year when allergy season rolls around and casts misery among the masses. Pollen, Blossoms, Ragweed, Pollution, Pet Dander are all major contributors of our pain and suffering, some symptoms are certainly more severe then others and can trigger Asthma attacks better known as (Allergic Asthma), Sinus infection (Sinusitis) which is brought on by Hay Fever allergies, Hives (Urticaria), Poison Ivy and Plant , Bee Sting , Mold , latex , Pet , Sun , Shellfish , Eye (Conjunctivitis), Nut , Egg, Fish, Soy, Sun, Wheat, Aspirin, Milk, Cosmetic,and Drug allergies. All are treated with some type of Antihistamine drug to alleviate the effect of what the allergen does to our system.


Many types of drug Antihistamines are available without prescription and can be purchased over-the counter such as Chlor-Trimenton (Chlorphenaramine), Benadryl ( diphenhydramine), Claritin ( Antihistamine Loratadine), Dimetapp ( Bromphen Diemtane, Nasahist). Always read the recommendation of dosage before using and do not ever exceed the amount allowed.

Common prescribed medications are less likely to cause adverse side effects such as Zyrtec (cetirizine) , we can also purchase this over-the counter. Clarinex ( desloratadine) and Allegra ( fexofenadine). There are also several prescribed nasal allergy sprays that can be prescribed by a medical doctor to treat allergies one of the most popular prescribed medication is Astelin ( azelastine) for the severe sufferer of allergies.

How they work: Antihistamines compete against the histamines for receptor sites, when the Antihistamine makes its home at the histamine receptor sites, they prevent the histamine from causing allergic symptoms. All Antihistamines are most effective when taken continuously during allergy season.

Who should not use: Women who are breastfeeding, Individuals who are currently using IMAO( mono-amine oxidase inhibitor), or individuals who have narrow-angle glaucoma.

Forms: Antihistamines comes in tablet form, capsule form. chewable table and liquid. How often a person should take any type of Antihistamine is determined by characteristics and dosage.

Avoid taking any other drugs that can cause drowsiness such as alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives or any type of sleep aids. Before interacting any other drugs with any other medication it is always advised that you contact a physician or pharmacist.

Pharmaceutical terminology can be confusing, however understand the common terms and the pharmaceutical terms allows you to understand what is being prescribed and if any emergency should occur, utilizing the information could be knowledge needed under certain circumstances. Always contact a physician before using any type of Antihistamines.

copyright 2009


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    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 8 years ago from greece

      very nice,good hub.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Lgali: Thanks again I hope I have provided a better understanding. :)

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      Very informative hub as always

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      john0127: They certainly can be helpful, but only the proper dosage. :)

    • johnb0127 profile image

      johnb0127 8 years ago from TX

      Great hub! If you are sick and need to sleep, these are helpful :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Adrianna: Thank you !!

      Cobraski: I am back into school to become just that. :)

    • cobraski profile image

      cobraski 8 years ago from Maryland

      Very informative! Was I reading a medical journal? You go Dr. It's, what's the word I'm looking for.....sweet!

    • profile image

      Adrianna's Pages 8 years ago

      Awesome hub. Great job, as always.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Paper Moon: Truly look into prescription, talk with your doctor and see what he can do. As a allergy sufferer myself the over-the-counter makes me groggy and shaky as well. :)

      Melody: You are so welcome and Claritin is also a good one for someone who suffers allergies. :) Very informative and I hope that others checkout some of the valuable information. :)

      men are dorks: I believe you were lost in translation, not a problem and thank you for stopping by.:)

      badcompany99: I feel the pain and I am glad that it gave you some sound advice.

      Ocbill: A majority of the names are created from the U.S. Drug Industry they are interesting aren't they.:)

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Yes, very good information. I like dayquil and where in the hell do they come up with these names? benadryl, claritin, ...

    • profile image

      badcompany99 8 years ago

      Really informative hub as always, I am damned with sinus problems this time of year.

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 8 years ago from Namibia

      I... ... I forgot what to say... but it was gonna be bout this, something, shit... later...

    • profile image 8 years ago

      There is a very natural Antihistamine's that grows in the garden.

      Living in Poland I have found the people here to be natural doctors as I think they always had to be.

      It's called Butterbur

      It seems to be useful for more than just allergies. Amazing little weeds.

      Another weed I found that works great on bee and nettle stings as a natural astringent is called 'dock leaves' or Broad-leaved Dock, Bitter Dock, Bluntleaf Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)

      If you want to test the effectiveness of the dock leaf sting yourself with a nettle and crush the leaf until the juice appears and rub it on the sting. It also works for bee stings :)

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      I use Claritin for my allergic rhinitis. Nice hub, thanks.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      I tend to get "nervous joints" when using most over the counter ones, but with my hay-fever issues, sometimes the bennifits out weigh the side effects. I should look into prescription ones as you mentioned. Thanks for the info. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Lesley: I use them as my allergies kill me and I am glad that you found it most informative. :)

    • thelesleyshow profile image

      TheLesleyShow 8 years ago from US

      Very informative. I could use one right now. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up!