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How do antihistamines treat allergies?

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When your body comes into contact with whatever your allergy trigger is -- pollen, ragweed, pet dander, or dust mites, for example -- it makes chemicals called histamines. They cause the tissue in your nose to swell (making it stuffy), your nose and eyes to run, and your eyes, nose, and sometimes mouth to itch. Sometimes you may also get an itchy rash on your skin, called hives. Antihistamines reduce or block histamines, so they stop allergy symptoms. These medicines work well to relieve symptoms of different types of allergies, including seasonal (hay fever), indoor, and food allergies.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "NAB: Frequently Asked Questions."

AAAAI Allergy & Asthma Medication Guide: "Tips to Remember: Asthma & Allergy Medications."

Rakel, D. 2007. Integrative Medicine,

Wallace, D.V. , August 2008. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Motala C. , June 2009. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 15, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "NAB: Frequently Asked Questions."

AAAAI Allergy & Asthma Medication Guide: "Tips to Remember: Asthma & Allergy Medications."

Rakel, D. 2007. Integrative Medicine,

Wallace, D.V. , August 2008. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Motala C. , June 2009. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 15, 2019

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What types of antihistamines are available?

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