Allegra is the brand name for an over-the-counter antihistamine called fexofenadine. It is a medication that prevents the level of histamine from rising in our body and reduces the symptoms this can cause. Rising histamine levels in the body are a common cause of the symptoms we associate with allergies, such as runny nose, itchy and red eyes, and sneezing.
Allegra is available as tablets, disintegrating tablets, and oral suspension. It is most commonly used for hay fever; however, it can also be used for urticaria, allergies to pets, dust mites, food, insect bites, and prickly heat rash.
Allegra is one of the most effective antihistamines with the added benefit of being less sedating. If you are suffering from hay fever or allergic-type symptoms such as an itchy nose, itchy rash or redness, and minor swelling of the skin, Allegra may help relieve these symptoms. Allegra may be more suitable if you have tried cetirizine or loratadine and have had a marginal response.
Minor allergic reactions can be safely treated with antihistamines and should start to get better within a few hours. Taking it consistently will have an added effect long term. If you are unsure of the cause, then it may be worth speaking to your doctor to get allergy tested to find the root cause.
There are different antihistamines available; fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine, levocetirizine, and cetirizine are once a day and are the least drowsy out of all the over-the-counter antihistamines. They work for at least 8 to 12 hours but can last a full 24 hours. Older antihistamines, such as chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine, can be taken up to six times a day in adults and are often found to give more relief as they can be taken more often. Yet, they can cause more drowsiness compared to newer antihistamines.
Allegra can only be taken once a day; however, it is best to take a tablet a few hours before you are likely to experience the worst symptoms. For hay fever, this is often during the day when the pollen counts are high.
You should avoid taking Allegra or other antihistamines if you have severe kidney or liver problems. Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you must speak to your doctor before taking Allegra. If you are unsure whether you can take Allegra, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
With Allegra, the most common side effect is feeling a bit drowsy. Even though it is one of the least drowsy antihistamines, it can still cause some drowsiness. Other side effects include dizziness and headaches. You may also be allergic to something in Allegra. If you experience an allergic reaction, seek medical attention urgently.
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