Allegra is the brand name for an over-the-counter antihistamine called fexofenadine. It’s a medicine 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 in tablet form and is most commonly used to treat hay fever but can also be used in the treatment of urticaria, pet allergies, house dust mite allergy, insect bites and prickly heat rash.
If you’re 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 is one of the most effective antihistamines which also has the added benefit of being less sedating than some others. Allegra may be more suitable if you’ve tried the antihistamines cetirizine or loratadine and have only had limited improvement in your symptoms from these.
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 of your symptoms, 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 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. Chlorpheniramine (Piriton) can be taken up to six times a day in adults and is often found to give more relief as it can be taken more often but does cause more drowsiness compared to other antihistamines.
Allegra can only be taken once a day so it’s 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.
If you have severe kidney or liver problems, you should avoid taking Allegra or other antihistamines. Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding you will need to speak to your doctor before starting to take Allegra. If you are unsure whether you can take Allegra, speak 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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