Antihistamines

Antihistamines: Overview

Antihistamines are drugs that are used to treat a number of allergic health conditions by blocking the effects of a protein called histamine.

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Source

Antihistamines are available in tablet or capsule (oral) form, as creams, lotions and gels (topical form), and as a nasal spray.

Function

Antihistamines work by preventing the actions of histamine, which is a protein produced by the body as part of its natural defences.  Although histamine is generally useful, it is sometimes necessary to use antihistamines to block its effects.  For example, when there is an excessive allergic reaction to harmless substances such as pollen.

Side-Effects

Serious drowsiness can be caused by so-called 'first-generation' antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorphenamine.  People who regularly take first-generation antihistamines are more likely to be involved in serious accidents.  Second-generation antihistamines in general do not cause drowsiness; examples of these include loratadine and cetirizine.

On This Page

Antihistamines:

Antihistamines can help with the following:

Allergy

Eyes / Ocular

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Antihistamine drops are placed directly into the eye.

Skin-Hair-Nails

Eczema

Antihistamines can relieve itching and break the 'itch-scratch-itch' cycle which many eczema sufferers say is the worst symptom.  Although scratching relieves an itch, it also worsens inflammation and itching by causing more inflammatory substances to be released in the skin.

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May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for