Today, a lot of people become accustom in taking antihistamines because of pollutants that causes allergies. Histamines are the neurotransmitters of the body. When the body could not respond to certain stimuli like the allergens, histamine overreacts thus producing other body reactions like runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, and difficulty in breathing or asthma. This is where antihistamine comes in. It reduces the secretion of histamine and controls the intensity of the response to unwanted stimuli like allergens.
The most common role of antihistamines is to treat hay fever and several types of allergies. It can also serve as relief from motion sickness, anxiety, and to treat insomnia. It is an effective drug although few are aware of antihistamine side effects. Doctors usually don’t prescribe antihistamine if the patient is enduring other medical conditions such as heart and liver diseases, thyroid and lung problems and high blood pressure because the drug may cause more complications. The common side effects of antihistamine are:
- Drowsiness thus alcohol intake should be avoided.
- Dizziness that can be felt with sudden movement.
- Loss of appetite
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth and nose
There are also some serious antihistamine side effects although they are rare.
- Erratic heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty urinating
- Uncontrolled movements
- Fever and chills
These antihistamine side effects usually diminish as the medication took effect. Adults above 65 years old should also be cautious in taking the drug because they are more susceptible to its side effects. Long-acting antihistamines are not advisable as well to children younger than 12 or other dose form of this drug to children younger than 6 years old without any prescription from a physician. Antihistamine side effects among children include fever, rapid eye and tongue movement, agitation, strange behaviour, trembling in extremities, slurred speech or the child can experience seizures.
Antihistamines are also prohibited during pregnancy unless prescribed by doctor as the drugs have adverse effect to infants. Breastfeeding mothers are also advised not to take this medication as it may leak during breast-feeding. When someone takes antihistamines, physical activities that require alertness of mind like driving or operating machines should be avoided. Moreover, it is important to note that antihistamine also do react on certain food like grape juice. The combination may cause abnormal heart rhythm. It is also said that chewing or crushing of an antihistamine may increase its side effects.
Finally, it is important to inform your doctor if you are currently taking any medication before you can take antihistamine or any other drugs. A lot of antihistamine drugs are available over the counter and in different forms. Some are in spray, tablet, capsule, or liquid form. But if you want to avoid antihistamine side effects, you can go natural. There are natural antihistamines available in your kitchen. Vitamin C is the best natural antihistamine as it reduces one’s sensitivity to allergens. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, and several vegetables.
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