Antihistamines for Severe Allergic Reactions
Reference Antihistamine Opens New Window pills are included in allergy kits to stop or reduce itching, hives, sneezing and wheezing, and other symptoms caused by an Reference allergic reaction Opens New Window. Examples of antihistamines include diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (such as Chlorphen and Chlor-Trimeton). The antihistamine pills are not a substitute for an epinephrine shot.
Many allergic symptoms, such as hives and wheezing, occur when a chemical called histamine is released as part of the allergic reaction to an Reference allergen Opens New Window. Antihistamine medicines block the release of histamine.
Antihistamines can make people sleepy or make it harder for them to concentrate. These medicines should be used carefully by people who need to drive or operate heavy machinery. Other side effects include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, restlessness or irritability (especially in children), inability to urinate, and blurred vision.
Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology