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- What is fexofenadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for fexofenadine?
- Is fexofenadine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for fexofenadine?
- What are the uses for fexofenadine?
- What are the side effects of fexofenadine?
- What is the dosage for fexofenadine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fexofenadine?
- Is fexofenadine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fexofenadine?
What is fexofenadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Fexofenadine is an oral, "second generation" antihistamine that is used to treat the signs and symptoms of allergy and hives. It is similar to the other second generation antihistamines loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) and azelastine (Astelin).
Histamine is a chemical that is responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, for example, swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and then attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine. The attachment of the histamine to the receptors causes the cells to be "activated," releasing other chemicals that produce the effects that we associate with allergy (for example, sneezing). Fexofenadine blocks one type of receptor for histamine (the H1 receptor) and thus prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by histamine. Unlike the first generation antihistamines, fexofenadine and other second-generation antihistamines do not readily enter the brain from the blood. Therefore, they cause less drowsiness and are called non-sedating antihistamines. Fexofenadine was approved by the FDA in July 1995.
What brand names are available for fexofenadine?
What are the side effects of fexofenadine?
The most common side effects of fexofenadine are:
Other important side effects include:
What is the dosage for fexofenadine?
Which drugs or supplements interact with fexofenadine?
Aluminum containing antacids (for example, Maalox) reduced the absorption of fexofenadine when administered 15 minutes apart. Therefore, aluminum containing antacids and fexofenadine should not be administered together. Fruit juices (apple, orange, grapefruit) may reduce the absorption of fexofenadine. Fexofenadine should only be administered with water.
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Is fexofenadine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Fexofenadine has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
Fexofenadine has not been adequately studied in women who are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about fexofenadine?
What preparations of fexofenadine are available?
Tablets: 30, 60 and 180 mg. Suspension: 30 mg/5 ml.
Children 2-11 years of age should be given 30 mg twice daily for seasonal allergies or urticaria.
Children 6 months to 2 years old should receive 15 mg twice daily for urticaria.
The suspension is used for children less than 6 years old.
How should I keep fexofenadine stored?
Tablets and suspension should be stored at room temperature between 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F).
Fexofenadine (Allegra, Mucinex Allergy) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of allergy and hives. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Eye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics may cause eye allergies. Allergic eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear-duct obstruction, and conjunctivitis due to infection are frequently confused with eye allergies. Eye allergies may be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical mast-cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic medications, and allergy shots.
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Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
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Are Hives (Urticaria) Contagious?
Hives are not contagious are triggered by an allergic response to a substance. Symptoms and signs of hives include a raised, itchy red rash on the skin. An individual should seek medical care for hives if he or she develops dysphagia, wheezing, shortness of breath, or throat tightening.
Allergy Treatment Begins at Home
Avoiding allergy triggers at home is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation are a few ways to allergy-proof the home. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters also helps control allergies.
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