The complete list of antihistamines to fight allergies

white and blue capsule of anti-allergy medication

Antihistamines are essential medications to fight allergies.

They work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical released by the immune system during an allergic reaction.

It is often complicated to understand the list of antihistamines available on the market, so we will help you choose the treatment best suited to your needs.

You can also find the 5 steps to relieve your pollen allergy .

The different types of antihistamines

There are two main categories of antihistamines:

  • H1 antihistamines
  • H2 antihistamines

H1 antihistamines mainly target allergic skin, respiratory and ocular manifestations.

H2 antihistamines are mainly used to treat histamine-related stomach problems.

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H1 antihistamines

H1 antihistamines are most commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms such as

  • the itching
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • watery red eyes.

These medications are divided into two subcategories: first generation antihistamines and second generation antihistamines.

  • First-generation antihistamines: These medications have a sedative effect and can cause drowsiness, dizziness and coordination problems. They are generally not recommended for the elderly and vehicle drivers.

    Among them are chlorphenamine , diphenhydramine and hydroxyzine .

  • Second generation antihistamines: these drugs have a less sedative effect than those of the first generation and are therefore better tolerated by patients.

    Among them, we can cite aerius , zyrtec or even bilaska .
white and light blue capsule of anti-allergy medication

    H2 antihistamines

    H2 antihistamines are mainly used to treat histamine-related gastric disorders, such as stomach and duodenal ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

    These medications work by reducing the production of stomach acid.

    Among the most commonly prescribed H2 antihistamines are:

    • ranitidine
    • famotidine
    • nizatidine

    How to choose the right antihistamine?

    The choice of an antihistamine depends on several factors, such as the nature of your symptoms to be treated, your age, your medical history and its possible contraindications.

    Here are some tips to help you choose the most suitable treatment:

    • Consult a doctor: only a healthcare professional can direct you to the most appropriate treatment depending on your situation.
    • Favor second-generation antihistamines: these drugs are less likely to cause sedative side effects and are therefore better tolerated by most patients.
    • Consider your medical history: certain current conditions or treatments may contraindicate the use of certain antihistamines. Do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor.

    The main brands of antihistamines available on the market

    The antihistamine market is vast and offers a wide choice of products to meet the specific needs of each patient.

    Here is a non-exhaustive list of the main brands of antihistamines that you can find in pharmacies:

    • Aerius: this second generation antihistamine is indicated in the treatment of symptoms of allergic rhinitis and hives.
    • Zyrtec: also second generation, this medication is used to relieve allergic skin and respiratory symptoms.
    • Bilaska: this second generation antiallergic treatment is effective against the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis and urticaria.
    • Allergodil: This antihistamine eye drop is prescribed to treat the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.
    anti-allergy medication on a white table

      Side effects of antihistamines

      Like any medication, antihistamines can cause side effects in some people.

      It is important to be aware of these effects and to consult a doctor if necessary.

      Here are some of the most common side effects experienced with the use of antihistamines:

      • Drowsiness: This effect is especially common with first generation antihistamines, but can also occur with some second generation drugs.
      • Dry mouth: this symptom is often associated with H1 antihistamines, particularly those of the first generation.
      • Gastrointestinal disorders: Some patients may experience nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain when taking antihistamines.
      • Drug Interactions: Antihistamines may interact with and potentiate their effects with other medications, including sedatives and narcotic analgesics. Be sure to tell your doctor about all treatments you are taking.


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