Hayfever, Allergy & Sinus Relief
Treating allergies and allergic reactions with antihistamines
Allergies are most commonly treated with antihistamines. When a person comes into contact with an allergen, there is a risk of triggering chemicals called histamines that can result in a stuffy nose, runny eyes, rashes on the skin and other allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines work remarkably well to relieve symptoms of different allergies such as:
- Hay fever
- Runny nose
- Insect bite reaction
Antihistamines are an incredibly versatile addition to medical science, and their usefulness in treating allergy symptoms is one of the greatest medical discoveries of the 20th Century. Everyone can benefit from antihistamines that provide better quality of life, and the highest quality antihistamines are available at Amcal Chemists.
As the name implies, antihistamines counter histamines that are released by the body. Histamines are a defence mechanism when the body detects something harmful, such as an infection. Histamines can also be produced when the body detects something harmless, such as pollen, dust or hair, with potential for allergic reactions that include itchy, watery eyes, a runny or blocked nose, skin rashes and sneezing.
Histamine receptors are proteins situated in various parts of the body. The histamine receptors bind with the histamine to produce a variety of effects on the organism. H1 histamine receptor stimulation can cause skin rashes, bronco-constriction, motion sickness, widening of blood vessels and hay fever. Receptors in the brain alter neurochemistry and make you feel more alert and awake. Antihistamines oppose the histamine reaction, potentially resulting in drowsiness.
Antihistamines are the safe go-to product for fast relief of the symptoms of hay fever, hives, conjunctivitis and other allergic reactions. Antihistamines can protect you against the causes of allergies, and reduce the severity of symptoms if you are already suffering from an allergy.
Antihistamines are fast acting, and most people experience noticeable improvement in a short period of time. Although we take antihistamines for granted today, their use was only discovered in the 1940s, when Amcal was known as Allied Master Chemists of Australia Limited. With a nation-wide network of pharmacies in all Australian states and territories, Amcal is proud to support better health for generations of Australians.
Many popular and well-known antihistamines are over-the-counter products. Antihistamines treat a wide range of mild and irritating medical conditions, and can be administered as:
- Chewable tablets
- Nasal sprays
- Eye drops
There are two primary antihistamine types: first-generation antihistamines and second-generation antihistamines.
- First-generation H1 antihistamines having a central effect and thus also used as sedatives.
- Second-generation antihistamines for less central effect, used primarily as antiallergic drugs
You may already be familiar with products such as Benadryl and Claritin, and there are lots more reliable choices. There are also a range of situations where sedating antihistamines are not recommended. With so many antihistamine products on the market, it is important to make the right choice of sedating antihistamines or non-sedating antihistamines. Here are a few antihistamine products to look for, each boasting specific qualities and advantages.
All antihistamines help to block histamine receptors. Some antihistamines boast additional medical benefits, such as the ability of Diphenhydramine to treat allergies, insomnia, common-cold symptoms, tremors and nausea. The majority of antihistamines begin to take effect within an hour or two, with benefits often lasting for a day or more. If you are unsure which antihistamine product is right for you, speak to your treating professional or Amcal pharmacist.
Although severe allergic reactions are rare, some people do experience unwanted side effects when using antihistamines. Side effects of antihistamines that make you drowsy include:
- Sleepiness (drowsiness)
- Reduced co-ordination
- Slower reaction speed
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty urinating
Side effects of non-drowsy antihistamines can include:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling nauseous
- Drowsiness (although less common than with first-generation antihistamines)
Most people can safely take antihistamines. However, you should speak to your GP or Amcal pharmacist for advice if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are taking other medications
- Have an underlying health condition such as heart disease, liver disease or kidney disease
- Are looking for medicine for a young child or baby
- Have hypersensitivity to medications
Always avoid drinking alcohol when taking antihistamines, as effects on drowsiness and co-ordination can lead to accidents. Make sure to disclose all medical conditions to your healthcare professional, including blood pressure problems, liver disease, a compromised immune system, heart ailments, or any other illness.
Antihistamines are widely used for fast relief from the symptoms of hay fever. Always take the medicine according to the supplied directions, along with further instructions if required from your doctor or pharmacist. Here are 5 things to know for effective antihistamine use.
- How to take it: including if the antihistamine should be taken with water or food, and how to use it correctly (eye drop, nasal spray or other application)
- How much to take: dosage can vary according to personal considerations such as age and weight.
- When to take it: what time of day and how many times a day to take the antihistamine. Some types are designed to be taken before bed.
- How long to take it for: some antihistamines can be used over an extended period of weeks or months, while others are recommended for a few days only.
- What to do if you miss a dose: antihistamines usually work best when used concurrently at relatively regular intervals.
New antihistamine products continue to be discovered, and they are available as over-the-counter and prescription medicines. The Great Amcal range of antihistamines can be accessed in-store or online for your convenience, allowing you to target hay fever (allergic rhinitis), runny nose, sneezing, conjunctivitis, hives, motion sickness and other allergen-related ailments.
Explore the best available pharmaceutical range from name-brand manufacturers including Claratyne, NeilMed, Amcal, Breathe Right, Zyrtec and Vicks. If you are sensitive to exposure to pollen, dust, hair or micro-particles, keep the allergy at bay with pro-active antihistamine solutions available at Amcal Australia-wide.
There are several different approaches to treating hay fever. Antihistamines are often the best initial approach, particularly in mild and non-debilitating hay fever cases. Your treating doctor or Amcal pharmacist may also prescribe corticosteroids, another class of drug with the ability to reduce immune system activity and lower inflammation in the body.
Corticosteroids are quite powerful and fast acting, often used to ease swelling and reduce itching and redness. They can be used to treat diseases like asthma, arthritis and lupus, along with allergies. Your treating doctor may also suggest mast cell stabilizers that have powerful ability to prevent and control certain allergic disorders.
Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever. It is a type of inflammation in the nose that is triggered when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms of hay fever include:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, red eyes, watery eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
Allergic rhinitis is triggered by breathing in tiny allergen particles. The most common airborne allergens are pollen from plant spores, dust mites, animals and work-related allergens such as wood dust or latex. It is not fully understood why some people's immune system displays a hypersensitivity to airborne allergens, although H1 antihistamines are universally appreciated as a countermeasure.
This will depend on your preference, and that is why Amcal showcases a wide range of products. Explore nasal sprays, nasal drops, inhalers, eye drops, decongestants, pills, liquids, skin creams and more. Whether you prefer oral antihistamines, chewable tablets, or other delivery methods, check out the great Amcal range of products to suit your personal style.
Histamine release is natural when in contact with the immune system, and antihistamines cover a broad spectrum for stopping the causes of allergies and alleviating the symptoms of allergies. Side effects of antihistamines are generally mild, and they can be used as a safe alternative to corticosteroids and mast cell stabilizers in many situations.
For more medical advice and information regarding allergy medications, symptoms of allergies, anaphylaxis, hay fever, side effects of antihistamines, and over the counter options, speak to a healthcare professional or Amcal pharmacist today.