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Urticaria: Adverse effects of Antihistamines

Anti-histamines (also called histamine antagonists) are conventionally used medicines for various allergic diseases such as urticaria, hay fever, colds, eczema, etc. Antihistamines are available as OTC (over the counter) products. As the name suggests, they are targeted against the release of histamine. Histamine is often an end product of the allergic reaction in our body, which leads to allergic rashes such as urticaria, inflammation, and itching. Antihistamines are the chemicals that block the effect of histamine, whereby the symptoms are suppressed for the time being, of course not cured. Actually, histamine is a part of our natural defense mechanism. Histamine release, per se, is not bad. The allergens and the hypersensitive state are to be treated. Unfortunately, this concept is not appreciated by conventional medicine. The use of antihistamines, thus, becomes more suppressive and superficial than curative, which does not treat the disease at a deeper level.

Some of the commonly used antihistamines are Levocetirizine, Allegra (Fexofenadine), Cetirizine, etc. There are hundreds of products in the market. There are patients who keep consuming Allegra (Fexofenadine), Cetirizine, Levocetirizine for months and years. There are thousands of patients who keep consuming such antihistamines for a very long time and they almost become addict to antihistamines such as Allegra or Cetrizine.

Antihistamines are good for superficial control of the symptoms. However, they do not cure urticaria, especially chronic urticaria.

Some of the common adverse effects of antihistamines are listed here for readers reference:

a. Sleepiness or drowsiness
b. The dullness of senses
c. Giddiness
d. Headache
e. Loss of appetite
f. The blurring of vision
g. Dryness of mouth, nose and throat
h. Difficulty in passing urine
i. Nausea and/or vomiting
j. feeling sick or vomiting
k. Constipation or loose stools
l. Stomach upsets
m. Irritability

If you taking a certain antihistamine, you should check the instructions on the medical information. It is often written that one should avoid driving after taking an antihistamine since some of them tend

to produce sleepiness and dullness of senses.

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