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Safeguard Your Mental Health: Beware of the Harmful Side Effects of Your Antihistamine

Updated on September 10, 2020
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Writer, mother, and home-care nurse. I spend much of my day teaching patients about health, disease process, and the mind-body connection.


Something Was Not Quite Right

I woke up like any ordinary morning and sat down at my desk to have my coffee. It was the same cup of coffee that I had been brewing for the past few weeks, yet this morning something felt off. I felt unmotivated, blah, sad and muted all at once. These feelings seemed familiar to me, as I had experienced them some time ago, but couldn't quite place when or how or why I felt like that in the past. I just knew that those feelings eventually left and i was back to my old self again. That's why this morning was so reminiscent of how I had felt in the past. I didn't want to do anything. I had a gazillion and one things on my to do list and couldn't muster enough motivation to put one foot in front of the other and just do it. "What was wrong with me?" I asked myself. I reached over to my drawer and grabbed my bottle of 24 hour 180mg Allegra (Fexofenadine) and that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the Allegra that made me feel like this all those months back! It was the Allegra that sapped me of my motivation and mental fortitude to get through the important tasks of my day back then and it was happening to me once again. I wanted to cry. I was both elated that there was an explanation for how I had been feeling and happy that there was a cure: Simply stop taking the medication.

The side effects of this medication and other antihistamines can creep up on you when you least expect it. They can be very subtle in fact. So subtle, that you may mistake the side effect for anxiety or depression. Allow me to explain a littler further about the side effects of this drug and how it may be effecting you too.

Side Effects of Fexofenadine

According to RX List's website at, the most common side effects of Fexofenadine are listed as:



upset stomach,

muscle or back discomfort or pain,




headache, and

menstrual cramps.

Less Common Side Effects

The common uses for Allegra (Fexofenadine) are for allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes and hives.

Most searches on the web fail to address the other psychological effects of this drug such as depression, mood disturbances, agitation, and anxiety.

However, there is a website that addresses the many side effects that other people who have taken this drug have had. This website is called Ask A Patient and can be found here.

After combing through this website, I found that I was in good company with the vast majority of people going through the same dreadful psychological side effects of this drug as me. Some of their experiences were far worse than mine!

Be On The Lookout

It's important that you be on the lookout for these less common side effects as they can creep up on you without you being aware of their causes.

I have found in my own experiences with this medication is that if you take it just once in a while, the side effects of the medication are less severe. If, however, i decide to take this medication on a daily basis, the culmination of days of use can have a sort of a cumulative effect on my body, where the side effects become almost unbearable and I start to question, what is wrong with me.



It's important to note that the past few weeks leading up to my revelation of the side effects of this drug was filled with daily meditations, breathing exercises, healthy eating, sufficient hydration, as well as daily planning in my planner every morning. All of these healthy habits, however could not combat the extreme anxiety and hopelessness that I felt after taking this medication on a daily basis. The anxiety that I experienced was a low level of discontent and a feeling of tension that I could not shake. It did not make sense to me that after implementing all of these healthy methods that had worked so much for me in the past, just would not work for me now. This is why it is so important for you, the reader, to recognize if you are having any of these feelings and are taking this medication or other antihistamines, to re-examine whether or not it is the medication that may be causing you to not feel like yourself.

Other Alternatives to taking Antihistamines

Fexofenadine worked very well to get rid of my allergies, but in the end it was just not worth the toll that the side effects had on my life. It's worth noting that there are other alternatives to using antihistamines such as nasal sprays, nasal saline washes and herbal remedies such as Turmeric, Rosemary and Stinging Nettle leaf.

I have not tried the herbal remedies, but have tried the over the counter nasal spray Flonase with significant relief. Avoiding the allergen is of course, easier said than done. But if there is any way possible, it's best to be proactive and try to avoid it rather than being reactive and therefore having to take the medication.


Benefits Versus Side Effects

In the end, with any medication that you take, you should always weigh out the benefits of the drug versus the side effects. In my opinion, the side effects of Fexofenadine are clearly not worth the benefits. I simply feel that life is not worth living if you have to go through your days with such high anxiety and lack of motivation. You only live once right?

Feel free to share any of your experiences with Fexofenadine below:


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