Antihistamines are drugs that treat allergy symptoms. When taken by mouth, they come as pills, chewable tablets, capsules, and liquids.
Antihistamines treat these allergy symptoms well:
Treating symptoms can help you or your child to feel better during the day and sleep better at night.
Depending on your symptoms, you can take antihistamines:
For many people with allergies, symptoms are the worst around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Taking an antihistamine at bedtime may help you or your child feel better in the morning during allergy season.
You can buy many different brands and forms of antihistamines without a prescription.
Ask your health care provider what type of antihistamine and what exact dosage is right for you or your child. Make sure you understand the dosing instructions.
Ask your health care provider if antihistamines are safe for you or your child, what side effects to watch for, and how they will affect other medicines you or your child take.
There may be special precautions if you have:
Side effects of antihistamines may include:
Call your health care provider if:
Chow AW, Benninger MS, Brook I, Brozek JL, Goldstein EJ, Hicks LA, et al. IDSA clinical practice guideline for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in children and adults. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Apr;54(8):e72-e112. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
Meltzer EO, Hamilos DL. Rhinosinusitis diagnosis and management for the clinician: a synopsis of recent consensus guidelines. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011 May;86(5):427-43. Epub 2011 Apr 13.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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