On the other hand, some patients experience none of these symptoms when taking sedating antihistamines.
Many types of antihistamines are available without a prescription.
Examples of over-the-counter non-sedating antihistamines include the brand names Claritin®, Allegra®, and Zyrtec®.
Occasionally, certain antihistamines are used to treat chronic headaches or asthma.
Side effects of antihistamines depend in part on the specific type.
New generation antihistamines such as claritin, clarinex, zyrtec, xyzal and Allegra are generally very well tolerated. It is a common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) preparations for sleep, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) PM -- the PM part is diphenhydramine, the generic name for Benadryl.
Another one I like to use is hydroxyzine (also known as Vistaril or Atarax) but that is only available as a prescription, however its metabolite is Zyrtec, which is OTC. Read more You become tolerant to the sedative effect of first generation antihistamines and with time you will no longer feel sedated from them.
The most common potential side effects include headache, digestive problems, aching muscles and fatigue.
A non-sedating antihistamine can, in rare instances, cause convulsions, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeats and jaundice.
Over the years, many uses of antihistamines have been discovered.
Many patients are most familiar with antihistamines used to treat respiratory allergies such as hay fever or as an ingredient in over-the-counter sleeping pills.
The Nasal Allergies Market: US Core Therapeutic Report, National Health and Wellness Survey 2009. Impact of nasal congestion on quality of life and work productivity in allergic rhinitis: findings from a large online survey.