An allergy is an immune response, or reaction, come substances (allergens) that are usually not harmful. In someone v allergies, the immune an answer is oversensitive. As soon as it recognizes an allergen, the immune system launches a response. Chemicals such as histamines space released. These chemicals cause allergy symptoms.

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One kind of medication that helps relax allergy symptom is an antihistamine.


Antihistamines are medications that treat allergy symptom by blocking the results of histamine. Antihistamines come as pills, chewable tablets, capsules, liquids, and also eye drops. There are likewise injectable creates used largely in health treatment settings.


Antihistamines treat these allergy symptoms:

Congestion, runny nose, sneezing, or itchingSwelling of the sleep passagesHives and also other skin rashesItchy, runny eye

Treating symptoms can aid you or your son to feel much better during the day and also sleep much better at night.


Depending on your symptoms, you deserve to take antihistamines:

Every day, to aid keep daily symptoms under controlOnly as soon as you have symptomsBefore being exposed to things that often reason your allergy symptoms, such as a pet or details plants

For many civilization with allergies, symptoms room the worst approximately 4 a.m. Come 6 a.m. Acquisition an antihistamine at bedtime may aid you or your son feel better in the morning during allergy season.


You can buy numerous different brands and also forms of antihistamines without a prescription.

Some work-related for just 4 to 6 hours, while rather last because that 12 come 24 hours.Some are combined with a decongestant, a drug that dries up her nasal passages.

Ask your health treatment provider what form of antihistamine and what specific dosage is best for you or her child. Make sure you understand exactly how much come use and how countless times a day to usage it. Be sure to read the label carefully. Or ask her pharmacist if you have questions.

Some antihistamines cause less sleepiness 보다 others. These include cetirizine (Zyrtec), desloratadine (Clarinex), fexofenadine (Allegra), and also loratadine (Claritin).Do not drink alcohol when you room taking antihistamines.

Also, remember:

Store antihistamines at room temperature, far from heat, straight light, and also moisture.Do no freeze antihistamines.Keep all medications where children cannot reach them.

Ask your provider if antihistamines are safe because that you or your child, what side effects to watch for, and how antihistamines may affect other medications you or your child take.

Antihistamines space thought come be safe for adults.Most antihistamines are likewise safe for kids over 2 years old.If you space breastfeeding or pregnant, ask her provider if antihistamines are safe because that you.Adults that take antihistamines must know just how the medicine affects them prior to driving or making use of machinery.If your child is acquisition antihistamines, make sure the medicine is not affecting your child"s ability to learn.

There might be special precautions for making use of antihistamines if friend have:

DiabetesHeart condition or high blood pressure

Side results of antihistamines may include:

Changes in vision, such as blurry visionDecreased appetiteDizzinessDrowsinessDry mouthFeeling nervous, excited, or irritable

Call your provider if:

Your sleep is irritated, friend are having nosebleeds, or girlfriend have any type of other new nasal symptomsYour allergy symptoms are not obtaining betterYou are having actually trouble acquisition your antihistamines

Allergic rhinitis - antihistamine; Hives - antihistamine; allergic conjunctivitis - antihistamine; Urticaria - antihistamine; Dermatitis - antihistamine; Eczema - antihistamine


Corren J, Baroody FM, Togias A. Allergic and also nonallergic rhinitis. In: Burks AW, Holgate ST, O"Hehir RE, et al, eds. Middleton"s Allergy: Principles and also Practice. Nine ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 40.

Seidman MD, Gurgel RK, Lin SY, et al. Clinical practice guideline: allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;152(1 Suppl):S1-S43. PMID: 25644617 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25644617/.

Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, Oppenheimer J, Portnoy JM, Lang DM. Pharmacologic therapy of seasonal allergic rhinitis: synopsis of guidance native the 2017 share task force on exercise parameters. Ann Intern Med. 2017;167(12):876-881. PMID: 29181536 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29181536/.

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Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor the Medicine, department of basic Medicine, room of Medicine, university of Washington college of Medicine. Additionally reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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