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- What are antihistamine shots, and what are the medical uses for this type of drug?
- What are examples of generic and brand names of antihistamine injections available in the US?
- What are the side effects of antihistamine shots?
- Which drugs interact with antihistamine shots?
- What formulations of antihistamine injections are available?
- Is it safe to have antihistamine shots during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What are antihistamine shots, and what are the medical uses for this type of drug?
Antihistamine shots are prescription medications that are used for the rapid medical treatment of conditions such as:
- Allergic reactions (a severe allergy to a substance)
- Motion sickness
- To induce sedation when injected into a patient
Antihistamine shots also are used to alleviate extra pyramidal symptoms of antipsychotic medications.
Histamine is a chemical that causes many signs and symptoms of allergy. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine on their surfaces. Histamine stimulates the cells to release chemicals that produce effects that we associate with allergy. Antihistamines blocks histamine receptors and thus prevent activation of cells with histamine receptors by histamine.
What are examples of generic and brand names of antihistamine injections available in the US?
Examples of the brand and generic names for this type of medication include:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- promethazine (Phenergan)
- hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Restall, Vistacot)
- dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, Driminate)
The formulation of this drug is available by prescription only to treat a patient with a specific condition. It is not available over-the-counter (OTC). Other formulations of antihistamine drugs are available over-the-counter that treat medical conditions such as:
Examples of OTC medicine available over-the-counter include:
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What are the side effects of antihistamine shots?
The common side effects of this type of medication include:
Which drugs interact with antihistamine shots?
Antihistamine injections have additive effects if used with alcohol or other central nervous system depressant medications such as:
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- diazepam (Valium)
- zolpidem (Ambien)
- zaleplon (Sonata)
- butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine (Fioricet)
- morphine (MSIR)
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- azelastine (Astelin)
Effects of antihistamines are prolonged if combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as:
- phenelzine (Nardil)
- selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and Eldepryl)
- tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- procarbazine (Matulane)
- rasagiline (Azilect)
- isocarboxazid (Marplan).
Antihistamine injections should be used with caution if the patient under medical care and receiving treatment with an MAOI drug.
What formulations of antihistamine injections are available?
- Prescription antihistamine injections are available in injection form.
- Diphenhydramine, promethazine, and dimenhydrinate are administered intramuscularly and intravenously.
- Hydroxyzine hydrochloride is administered only intramuscularly.
- Antihistamine injections are not recommended for administration via subcutaneous route.
Is it safe to have antihistamine shots during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- FDA lists diphenhydramine and dimenhydrinate as Pregnancy Category B and promethazine as Pregnancy Category C. Hydroxyzine does not have a Pregnancy Category. These categories mean that the safe and effective use of any antihistamine injection drug is not established in during pregnancy; therefore, if a patient is pregnant, medical treatment with this drug should be used only if clearly needed.
- It is not known whether an injected antihistamine drug enters breast milk; therefore, patients who are pregnant should seek medical advise and use caution before treatment with a prescription antihistamine injection medication in women who are breastfeeding.
Antihistamine shots or injections are prescription drugs used to treat a patient for the rapid treatment of allergic reactions, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and induce sedation. Side effects of allergy shots include:
- Increased or decreased blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Drowsiness (sleepiness)
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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AnaphylaxisAnaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that affects a number of different areas of the body at one time, and can be fatal. Causes of anaphylaxis can be food allergy, latex allergy, allergy to insect or but stings/bites, asthma, or other materials or conditions. Symptoms include flushing, itching, hives, anxiety, rapid or irregular pulse. Severe symptoms may be throat and tongue swelling, swallowing, and difficulty breathing. Some disorders appear similar to anaphylaxis such as fainting, panic attacks, blood clots in the lungs, heart attacks, and septic shock. If you think that you may be having an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency care or call 911 immediately.
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