Antihistamines

When you’re suffering from hay fever or any other allergy, one of the most popular remedies you’ll reach for is an antihistamine, especially if you want quick and easy relief.read moreSee less

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Frequently Asked Questions

Taking an antihistamine can help to stop the itch-to-scratch cycle and give your skin time to heal.

 

It’s better to take a non-drowsy antihistamine, like Claritin, when your itching affects your daily life to avoid becoming sleepy, which may interfere with work or school.

 

If your itching disturbs your ability to sleep at night, take a drowsy variety to help you drift off easier, such as Benadryl.

You can take an antihistamine when your symptoms begin to show, while others take one every day if they know they are going to be exposed to allergens, like during high hay fever season.

 

You might take one before you visit a house with an animal to prevent your symptoms from flaring, too.

 

There are lots of different types of antihistamines, ones that are drowsy, non-drowsy, and ones that work between 4 to 6 hours, and ones that last for 12 to 24 hours.

 

It’s important to read the instructions on the label carefully and pick a variety that works for you, for example, it might not be a good idea to take a drowsy variety if you suffer from hay fever during the day.

Most people know that there are two types of antihistamines - drowsy and non-drowsy, and there are two types simply due to the advancement in pharmaceuticals.

 

Drowsy antihistamines are known as first-generation antihistamines, such as chlorphenamine, hydroxyzine, and promethazine.

 

The non-drowsy antihistamines, which include cetirizine, loratadine, and fexofenadine, are known as second-generation antihistamines.

 

The only difference between them is the effect of drowsiness, which means that the first-generation antihistamines can also be used as other forms of medical treatment, like insomnia.

Antihistamines work by blocking a chemical called histamine that is released during an allergic reaction, causing symptoms like a runny nose and watery eyes.

 

Experts generally believe that histamine isn’t the cause of a runny nose if you’ve got a cold, however, some viruses may induce histamine production.

 

As long as it’s a suitable medicine for you, there’s no harm in trying an antihistamine to see if it relieves your runny nose.

 

However, the recommended treatments for colds are usually painkillers, like paracetamol, or specific cold and flu medicines.

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