Allergy treatment: side effects of antihistamines

Find out why you may feel drowsy when taking your anti-histamine allergy treatments (cetirizine, loratadine, ...)

In the field of allergy treatment, it's crucial to understand why certain medications can cause drowsiness.

This question, often overlooked, is in fact profoundly linked to the way these treatments work.

Let's explore the underlying mechanisms and tips for minimizing this side effect.

Allergy medications, such as antihistamines, work by blocking the effects of histamine, a hormone released by white blood cells in response to allergens.

Histamine is responsible for annoying allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.

When you take an antihistamine, the drug's molecules bind to histamine receptors, preventing histamine from binding and triggering these symptoms. However, it's essential to note that histamine also acts in the brain, particularly in the hypothalamus, regulating wakefulness.

Some antihistamines have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to histamine receptors in the brain, which can lead to drowsiness. This phenomenon explains why some people feel tired after taking their allergy medication.

It's important to choose your antihistamine wisely, taking into account its side-effect profile. Some drugs have a lesser impact on wakefulness, while others may have a more pronounced effect. It's advisable to talk to your doctor to find the treatment best suited to your needs.

In summary, the drowsiness associated with taking allergy medication is due to the interaction between antihistamines and histamine receptors in the brain. By understanding these mechanisms, you can make informed decisions about your treatment and minimize adverse effects.

If you'd like to find out more about allergies and their treatment, I invite you to watch my video on the subject, click here.

Take care of yourself and feel free to share your experiences and questions in the comments. See you soon!

Dr Noura Marashi (Doctor of Pharmacy, health youtuber, creator of the Pharmaquiz health and well-being app),

Pharmaquiz YouTube channel:

Play the free QUIZ OF THE DAY to test your knowledge and learn useful health information.: Click here

Discover theCollection of books and e-booksvery welcome on the most common diseases (Type 1 and 2 diabeteshigh blood pressurepain and painkillers...) to prevent them, but also treat them properly:

Devices that save lives lives! To have absolutely at home click here

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published