Antihistamines and the main characteristics
Antihistamines are medications that are used for the treatment of allergies and allergic reactions, and the majority of the medications from this group can be acquired without a prescription. They can be found in several forms, but regardless of the form, they all have in common the way in which they work. They block histamine, thus preventing the symptoms of allergy to appear, and their continuous use during the period of allergy is recommended, because that way they are the most effective. Still, there are people who are allergic to antihistamines, so they should not use them.
As for the forms, they can be found in oral form, or more precisely as pills or liquids, and they have the ability to reduce swelling, hives, runny nose and watery eyes. Some of them should be avoided when driving or performing some kind of an activity that can be dangerous, while some are not intended to be used by children or older people. Nasal sprays are another form of antihistamines, and they are effective with sinus congestion, sneezing and runny nose, while eyedrops are also a form of antihitamines, and they are suggested when eyes are itchy, red and swollen. The downside of eyedrops is that they are effective for a short period of time, which is one of the reasons why they are very frequently used in combination with some other medication.
Side effects of antihistamines
Just like the greatest majority of the medications, antihistamines may also cause side effects, even though they are generally tolerated very well. The side effects may differ from one form to another, so those that can be expected when certain oral antihistamines are used include drowsiness and slower reaction, because some have sedating effect.
Nasal sprays may also cause drowsiness or even tiredness, but other problems that may be experienced are headache, nausea, and a sore throat. Some nasal sprays may have a bitter taste, and there have been reports that some of them caused nosebleeds.
As for the eyedrops and side effects that they may provoke, red and watery eyes as well as headache are the most frequently reported. People who wear contact lenses should carefully consider their use, since they may increase the risk of inflammation of the eye.
Besides these, side effects that may be expected are sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, problems with breathing, and even hallucinations and nightmares are not excluded.
Some antihistamines should not be combined with particular medications because or the risk of drug interactions, but some of them should not be combined with alcohol either.