Information and resources on the benefits and possible side effects to taking antihistamines. This article deals with antihistamines side effects and the products you can buy over the counter at your local pharmacy or drug store.
When most people think of Spring time, they conjure up images of new life, warmth, color and an end to the cold winter. But for millions of people around the world it also brings those dreaded and often debilitating allergies associated with things like pollen, grass and wheat.
It really can be a miserable time and when most sufferers reach for their favorite antihistamines to help them through the season. This is great news for the money bags, drug companies, but bad news for us, the blissfully unaware public of antihistamines side effects.
Don’t get me wrong, antihistamines do work and they work well. Unfortunately the flip side to these over the counter drugs is 2 fold; first of all they come with side effects which we’ll cover in a moment. Secondly and even more worryingly, is what the drug companies tend to keep very quiet about, what these antihistamines are not doing for you.
How Antihistamines Work
When you are exposed to outside substances (or allergens) like pollen and dust etc. your body defends itself by releasing histamines in order to protect your cells. They attach and cover your cells from the allergens.
This can cause the cells to swell and leak fluid which subsequently causes the symptoms so many people experience, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, use antihistamine for cold,itching, sneezing and in extreme cases, shortness of breath and even asthma.
It can happen any time during the year, but is far more common during the Spring and Summer months.In simple terms, antihistamines are orally taken tablets that dissolve into the blood stream. They work by reducing the effects of the body’s histamines by preventing fewer amounts from attaching to the cells and therefore causing these annoying symptoms.
Common Antihistamines Side Effects
The side effects associated with antihistamines usually effect the elderly or people with health problems. However, they can cause problems for anyone, and it is worth recognizing the symptoms in case you or a family member experiences them.
Common side effects include; drowsiness and dizziness, which is why you are advised not to operate machinery or drive while taking them, restlessness, nervousness, headaches and abdominal pain. Other side effects, which aren’t as common, are dry nose and mouth, irritability and blurred vision.
For most people these antihistamine side effects will be hardly noticed. However, the other, less commonly understood problem associated with taking these drugs, is not so much what they do to you, but more from what they are failing to do.
When Antihistamines Stop Working
When you first start taking a course of antihistamines, you’ll notice an immediate health benefit and your symptoms will be virtually eliminated. Unfortunately, the longer you take them, the more your body will become immune to them. In fact it only takes a mater of 3 to 4 months before they have little or no benefit to you and your symptoms whatsoever.
At this point the usual route is to take more of the same or a higher dosage to combat your worsening symptoms. This naturally starts a vicious spiral, which only rewards the drug companies as you spend more money on their drugs and they get richer.
The solution is to rotate your current antihistamines with a different type that has slightly different properties, but will ultimately do the same job. A good pharmacist or knowledgeable allergist should be able to advise you of this procedure and recommend a quarterly cycle of your antihistamines.