Nasal Allergy Medications (cont.)

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Asking the pharmacist for generic version of the doctor's brand name suggestion or prescription requires caution. Check that the generic name and strength is the same as the medicine doctor recommended or prescribed.

The second generation antihistamines are often referred to as "non-sedating." In general, this group of antihistamines is more expensive, has a slower onset of action, is longer acting, and induces less sleepiness. However, even some of these can be slightly sedating, so the persons taking these medications should use them with caution (see table below). Two of the earlier second generation antihistamines, terfenadine (Seldane) and astemizole (Hismanal), were found to have unacceptable heart side effects and are no longer available on the market.

Second Generation Antihistamines
Generic Name Brand Name
lortadine Claritin
fexofenadine Allegra
certirizine (light sedation) Zyrtec
levocetirizine Xyzal
pseudoephedrine/loratadine Claritin-D
pseudoephedrine/fexofenadine Allegra-D
desloratadine Clarinex
azelastine (light sedation) Astelin
olopatadine Patanase

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