Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by blocking the action of the histamine on the tissue. Antihistamines do not stop the formation of histamine nor do they stop the conflict between the IgE and antigen. Therefore, antihistamines do not stop the allergic reaction but protect tissues from some of its effects. Antihistamines frequently cause mouth dryness and sleepiness. Newer non-sedating antihistamines are generally thought to be somewhat less effective. Antihistamine side effects that very occasionally occur include urine retention in males and fast heart rate.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017