Sedating antihistamines over the counter

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Drowsiness is one of the major side effects of some antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (the antihistamine found in Nyquil).

Histamine also binds to other receptors located in nasal tissues, causing redness, swelling, itching, and changes in the secretions.

By blocking histamine receptors, antihistamines prevent symptoms.

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Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for allergy relief fill the shelves of retail pharmacies and there always seem to be new ones coming to the market.

Choosing the right medication often depends on matching your symptoms with what the colorful medicine box states the drug inside is capable of relieving. All About Antihistamines Antihistamines are the most common drugs taken to treat nasal allergy symptoms.

It can be very disappointing when runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion remain unaffected by the “miracle drug.” In desperation, you may decide to double the dose or add another OTC allergy medication. There are two major classifications of antihistamines: Since the beginning of this decade, two second generation antihistamines have become available for OTC purchase: loratadine (brand of Claritin, Alavert, Wal-itin and others) and cetirizine (brand of Zyrtec, Walzyr and more coming).

But there are side effects to this healing process.

For example, when you're fighting a cold (the rhinovirus), histamines widen the blood vessels in your nasal cavity, causing nasal congestion.

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Additionally, the increased fluid leakage from your blood vessels, combined with an increased mucous production — also caused by histamines — can result in a runny nose.

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