Antihistamine are medicines that treat allergic reactions to dust, pollen, and other allergens.
In most cases, people take antihistamine as a cheap, over the counter medication to give relief to sneezing, nasal congestion caused by allergens, or allergy with little side effects. Many medications that contain histamines and their salts are used as a treatment for the symptoms of allergy.
There are various types of antihistamine that include Lamictal, Claritin, Doxazepam, Zyrtec, Atacor, and other over the counter (OTC) medications. A recent development in the area of medicine is the use of synthetic antihistamines to treat allergy.
Histamine is a substance that has a role in the immune system and plays an important role in the development of allergies and an allergic reaction. When there is an allergic reaction in the body, histamines cause the body’s immune system to release chemicals called cytokines that cause inflammation in the body. A certain amount of inflammation is needed to allow the body to build immunity to the foreign substance and to fight off infection.
Histamine is also produced when the body releases histamine from the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the chemicals produced are in the body but not released.
Histamine causes an allergic reaction in the body by stimulating the immune system and causing cells to produce antibodies to combat an allergen. Histamine has been used in allergy treatment for many years and it is still used today.
There are many side effects associated with histamine treatments. They include: drowsiness, blurred vision, restlessness, nervousness, muscle weakness, constipation, insomnia, irritability, depression, diarrhea, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, nasal drip, wheezing, coughing, hoarseness, and shortness of breath.
People with allergies should never take antihistamine for more than seven days at a time and should avoid taking them in combination with certain medications such as aspirin, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, anti inflammatory drugs, and asthma medications.
If your doctor suspects you may have a more serious or severe allergic reaction, he will likely prescribe you an allergy test or allergy therapy. If this is done, he will prescribe an antihistamine or allergy shots. Other treatment options include decongestants (Benadryl, Motrin, Indocin, Allerject), steroid tablets (Flovent, Benicar), corticosteroids, immunoglobulin injections (Valdimmune, Accutane), and even steroids.
Before deciding on an antihistamine or allergy therapy for your allergy, discuss the treatment options with your doctor. Your doctor will explain how long you’ll need the medication and what you need to do if you are unable to tolerate the treatment.
Antihistamines can be taken in a pill or in the form of an injection. Oral antihistamines are often combined with other medications to reduce the possibility of rebound headaches and other side effects.
For a faster-acting antihistamine, an antihistamine nasal spray is usually used. They are less likely to cause rebound headaches and other side effects.
Other antihistamine side effects include: dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression, stomach cramps, muscle weakness, and headache. It’s important to know the proper dose before beginning any antihistamine treatment. Don’t take too much of the drug if you’re pregnant. If you’re taking an antihistamine to treat your hay fever, don’t exceed a three-hour dosage unless your doctor advises you.
Because of the potential side effect of antihistamines, many allergy sufferers opt for an over-the-counter antihistamine.
Nonprescription over-the-counter antihistamines can contain antihistamines and other medicines.
Prescription antihistamines should not be used during pregnancy or for people with asthma. The FDA has approved several over-the-counter antihistamines and antihistamine shots, including Vioxic, which contains the drug Alleroderm.
A more serious side effect from taking an antihistamine is a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. This condition can be fatal in severe cases. Serotonin syndrome is caused by excessive and prolonged use of antihistamines, such as Vioxx and Allegra.
Serotonin syndrome can be treated by discontinuing the antihistamine and treating the condition. Doctors often recommend switching to a nonallergic drug, such as Vioxx, while the antihistamine is still being used. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe medications such as Lidocaine, analgesic, antiemetic, or anticonvulsant.
There are some over-the-counter antihistamines that don’t cause serotonin syndrome and don’t cause other side effects. An antihistamine is very useful for relieving allergy symptoms. In mild cases it is also used for relief from a cold or a cough. Many people have found relief from allergy attacks when using an antihistamine and an all-natural approach to allergy relief.