Wondering if your nagging cold is actually an allergy? Or what about your
new skin cream that made your hands break out? Distinguishing an allergy from a
non-allergic condition is not always a clear-cut task. But knowing the
difference can sometimes help you solve what's ailing you, which in turn could
mean faster relief.
Mary Fields knows just how difficult pinpointing an allergy can be. The
64-year-old Bronx resident tells WebMD she was convinced her frequent hives
were caused by something...
Antihistamines that are
taken by mouth (oral) work better than those that are applied directly to the
skin (topical) because a pill or capsule contains a specific dose of medicine.
The dose in a cream or ointment depends on how much is applied at one time and
is harder to control. Too much antihistamine absorbed through the skin can be
toxic, especially to children. Don't give any antihistamines to your child
unless you've checked with the doctor first. The use of cream or ointment
antihistamines is not reliable and not recommended.
not take oral antihistamines when you are driving, operating machinery, or need
to be alert because they can make you sleepy.
Use caution if you
have other health problems, such as glaucoma, epilepsy, or an enlarged
prostate. Antihistamines can cause your other health problem to get worse and
also may interact with other medicines, such as antidepressants, sedatives, and
tranquilizers. Read the package carefully, and ask your
pharmacist or doctor to help you choose
an antihistamine that will not cause problems.
Antihistamines are often combined with a decongestant in one product. These medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Antihistamines may make young children
sleepy or may stimulate the nervous system, causing hyperactivity. Don't give
antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
In rare cases, diphenhydramine (especially forms of it that are
applied to the skin) can cause severe side effects in children, such as
tremors, and coma.
In older children and adults:
Antihistamines may cause
Weakness, blurred vision, dry nose, mouth, and throat,
difficulty urinating, or stomach upset also can occur.
If you have side effects, stop taking the medicine and call
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects.
(Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this