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Allergy relief and antihistamines

What happens when you have an allergic reaction and why do antihistamines help? How do you choose an antihistamine? Read on to learn more…

When you have an allergic reaction, histamines are released into your blood. They attach to cells in your body and cause them to swell and leak fluid. This is the itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes that you usually get. For symptom relief, most people take an “antihistamine”. Antihistamines are medications that block the action of histamines on your body, relieving the symptoms.

There are so many different antihistamines, how do you choose?

First-generation antihistamines were the first ones available. But one of the most common side effects of first-generation antihistamines is drowsiness, so they are a problem if you need to be able to drive, operate machinery or be alert. They are very effective and very helpful for allergies and colds. These medicines contain the active ingredients brompheniramine, doxylamine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate and diphenhydramine. For example, Life Brand Allergy Formula Liquid and Caplets contain diphenhydramine and are indicated for fast and effective relief from allergy and hay fever symptoms.

Second and third generation antihistamines were developed to provide relief without making you drowsy and are very popular. These medicines contain active ingredients such as loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, and desloratadine. The Life Brand line of allergy products has many products to choose from including: Life Brand Extra Strength Aller Relief (cetirizine) which starts to work in 20 minutes to provide effective relief from hayfever and allergy symptoms, PLUS it lasts 24 hours, and Life Brand Desloratadine which is a long-acting antihistamine providing fast relief from year round allergic symptoms.

Many people try a few different products before they find the one that works best for them.

Talk to your Doctor before you start to use any antihistamine. They can advise you about any side effects and advise which ones are safe for you to use based on your medical history and other medications you may be taking.

There are other allergy medications that can also help ease your allergy symptoms, such as decongestants, corticosteroids, nasal sprays, eye drops and allergy shots. If you need more information or help choosing an allergy relief product, just ask your Pharmacist.