Types of sedating antihistamines

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Antihistamines block the effects of histamine and thus relieve symptoms of allergy.Oral antihistamines are used for the treatment of a number of allergies, including allergic rhinitis in which they reduce runny nose and sneezing but are usually less effective for nasal congestion.The term antihistamine is referred to medicines which act by blocking the histamine-1 receptor.They are classified as first generation (sedating) and second generation (non-sedating) antihistamines.Furthermore, anti-allergy medicines should be kept properly in places unreachable by children to prevent accidental ingestion.Acknowledgement : The Drug Office would like to thank the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch (SEB) and the Professional Development and Quality Assurance (PD&QA) for their valuable contribution to the preparation of this article.

Classical examples of sedating antihistamines include brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, cinnarizine, cyclizine, cyproheptadine, diphenhydramine, promethazine and triprolidine.

There are many types of allergies, including atopic allergy (allergic rhinitis, eczema, and allergic conjunctivitis), food allergy (commonly caused by eggs, milk, seafood and nuts), insect sting allergy, drug allergy (most common allergens are penicillin-based antibiotics and vaccines) and environment allergy (pollen allergy and dust mite allergies).

Symptoms of allergies include runny nose, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, skin itching, hives, swelling of the lips, face or tongue, etc.

If this cannot be achieved, medications may be needed to relieve the symptoms.

Commonly used anti-allergy medicines include antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants and montelukast.

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