What Is Antihistamine?

Many people suffer from various forms of allergic reactions such as allergic skin problems, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, hay fever and others. Although most of these allergies are not life-threatening, there are allergic reactions that are more serious than others such as fluid in lungs, read more about it at www.commonbreathingproblems.com, which need immediate medical attention. Most doctors would recommend taking antihistamines for treating a number of allergies.

Commercial antihistamines are readily available in capsule or tablet form, lotions, creams, gels and nasal spray. Most of them can be bought over-the-counter, while others need a prescription.

A person may suffer from a certain allergic reaction when the immune system would take a harmless substance such as dust or pollen for a threat. The body protects itself by releasing histamines to fight off the infection. After they have been released, they will then bind to various cell receptors in the body, causing them to leak fluid or to swell. This in turn results to nasal congestion, inflammation, itching, sneezing and other symptoms. To prevent histamines from causing further allergic reactions to the body, antihistamines will block them from binding to receptors.

There are different types of antihistamines in the market. There are first-generation, second-generation and third-generation antihistamines. First-generation antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorphenamine are known to cause drowsiness and other side effects to some people. On the other hand, second-generation antihistamine such as cetirizine and loratadine and third-generation antihistamine such fexofenadine have fewer side effects. This is one of the reasons why many doctors normally recommend taking these latter two instead of the first generation antihistamines.

While many antihistamines are available over-the-counter, you should not assume that it is safe for everyone to use. Some people with certain health conditions may develop unpredictable side effects after taking them. That is why it is always safe to refer to your doctor for advice and direction. It is also important to consider that antihistamines do not work immediately after taking them. Normally, they work after 15 to 30 minutes and could protect you for up to two hours. Taking antihistamine before you are even exposed to allergens such as dust can stop any allergic reaction. But if you take them after you are exposed to allergens, it could just alleviate your symptoms.

While commercial antihistamines are readily available, some people are considering the long-term side effects to their health. That is why there are people who are looking for alternative antihistamines. Nature also produces some of the most effective natural antihistamines. These include plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables such as basil, chamomile, garlic, fennel, ginger, lemon, oregano, thyme, papaya and most of the green leafy vegetables that are high in flavonoids. That is why it is important for us to care for our environment, particularly the plant wildlife because many of the plants we can find in the wild or plant in our garden may give us significant benefits.

Antihistamines are very helpful in treating allergies. You have the option to use natural or commercial antihistamines. One important consideration is that commercial ones usually have side effects while the natural ones generally don’t have.