Any allergy sufferer knows how miserable allergy symptoms can be. The sneezing, itchy nose, congestion, runny nose, skin rash and hives can make you want to crawl in bed until summer is over! Allegra is one of a relatively new class of antihistamines that offers relief for these symptoms without the drowsiness of the older antihistamines.
NO PRESCRIPTION NEEDED
Formerly available by prescription only, Allegra is now available over the counter at a reasonable price. Allegra is a brand name for fexofenadine. According to http://www.canada.com, fexofenadine is one of a class of medications called "second generation antihistamines" or histamine receptor antagonists. They work by blocking a chemical in the body called histamine which causes many allergy symptoms. Histamine is an important chemical which the body uses to fight allergens. But when the body's defense is too strong and too much histamine is released, the familiar allergy symptoms are the result.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Allegra can cause some mild side effects such as dry mouth, cough, upset stomach, headache, pain and menstrual changes. A few people may even experience drowsiness.
More serious reactions from Allegra which would warrant a call to the physician include allergic reactions such as swelling of face, lips or tongue, skin rash, itching or hives, breathing difficulty, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and fever or infection.
Those who take Allegra should also let their health care provider know about any other medications they take including antacids, erythromycin, ketoconazole, any magnesium-containing substance. Also let them know if you regularly drink grapefruit, apple or orange juice which may interact with Allegra.
Those who have kidney disease, have experienced unusual or allergic reactions to fexofenadine, terfenadine or other medicines or substances, should also inform their prescriber before taking Allegra.
ORAL AND LIQUID FORMS
Allegra is for adults and children age 12 and older. Those over age 65 should check with their physician. For children under 12, you should check with your pediatrician. Allegra comes in several strengths and forms. For adults, Allegra comes in 12 and 24-hour tablets. In addition, Allegra-D contains a nasal decongestant as well as the antihistamine for allergy-sufferers who need relief from congestion and sinus pressure. For children, Allegra comes in a raspberry-flavored liquid or easy-to-swallow tablets. Tablets should be taken with a full glass of water and taken according to the prescription label.
If you miss a dose of Allegra, you should take it as soon as you can, or wait and take it the regularly scheduled dose if it is near that time. You should not take more than prescribed.
Allegra should be stored out of the reach of children in a dry place where the temperature is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fexofenadine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 and approved in January 2011 for over-the-counter sales. According to Wikipedia, Allegra had had global sales of $1.87 billion in 2004.