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Acrivastine

Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 01.02.2023 | 2 min read
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Acrivastine is a type of over-the-counter medicine known as a non-drowsy antihistamine. It is used to relieve the symptoms of allergies in a wide range of allergic conditions, including hay fever, dust allergies, insect bites, contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, and pet allergies. Acrivastine is useful for relieving itching, sneezing, runny nose, skin rash, and red, itchy, or watery eyes. It is suitable for adults aged under 65 and children aged 12 and over and is available as a capsule. Benadryl Allergy Relief is a branded version of acrivastine.

Even though acrivastine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine, it can still cause drowsiness in some people. If you experience drowsiness, it is best to avoid driving or drinking alcohol.

How does it work?

During an allergic reaction, your immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which causes inflammation that leads to the symptoms of an allergy. Antihistamines work by opposing the actions of histamine, stopping it from binding to its target sites in the body, reducing overall inflammation.

The chemical structure of non-drowsy antihistamines makes them less likely to enter the brain through what is known as the blood-brain barrier. This makes them less likely to cause drowsiness compared to other antihistamines.

How do I take it?

You can take one capsule (8mg) when required up to three times a day. Acrivastine can be taken with or without food, but you should avoid drinking grapefruit juice whilst you are on the medication.

Who should not take the medication?

Acrivastine is not suitable for everyone. You should not take acrivastine if you have previously had an allergic reaction to it or another ingredient listed in the medication. Acrivastine should not be taken by anyone under 12 or over 65 years of age.

You should speak with your doctor or pharmacist before taking acrivastine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have kidney problems, are due to have an allergy skin test, have a rare condition called porphyria, are intolerant to certain sugars like lactose, or have had an allergic reaction to another antihistamine in the past, as it may not be suitable for you.

Acrivastine can interact with other medicines such as betahistine, certain antidepressants (called monoamine oxidase inhibitors), dalteparin, erythromycin, and ketoconazole. If you take any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist that they are safe to take alongside acrivastine.

Are there any side effects?

As with all medications, some people may experience unwanted side effects. Some of the common ones include dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Speak to your doctor if any of these side effects become bothersome.

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