Antihistamines are a class of medications that are prescribed for the treatment of symptoms of allergies. A person may develop an allergic reaction to certain substances or allergens when a chemical known as histamine that is naturally created by your immune system overreacts to the allergen. An allergic reaction may give rise to symptoms such as rashes, skin problems, cough, sneezing, etc.
Antihistamine medications relieve these allergy symptoms, which are a result of excessive histamine in the body. In addition to treating allergies, Antihistamines are also used for treating several other conditions like anxiety, cold, stomach-related issues, and so forth. These medicines come as prescription and non-prescription (OTC) drugs.
These medicines work by suppressing the excess release of histamine in the body. The medicine prevents the allergens from triggering allergic reactions if you take the medicine before coming into contact with the allergen. Ingestion of the medicine after an allergic reaction will alleviate the severity of the allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines are available in various forms such as capsules, pills, chewable tablets, creams, gels, syrups, lotions, suppositories, eye drops, and nasal sprays. They also come in injectable forms, which are usually given by a medical professional. These medicines treat different types of allergy symptoms, which include:
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Swelling in nasal passages
- Skin-related problems like rash, blister, irritation
- Sneezing, cough
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
Furthermore, in case you suffer from minor allergies from time to time, you can go for over-the-counter antihistamine options. However, those with severe allergic reactions must seek a doctor’s approval. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate form of the medicine and the dose for your needs.
Antihistamine side effects
Antihistamine can give rise to some side effects, which are listed below:
- Drowsiness and sleepiness
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Dizziness and headache
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulties with urination
- Low blood pressure
- Cough and sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
If you develop some unwanted symptoms other than those listed ones, then you should see your doctor. Moreover, before using the medications, you should become aware of all the possible side effects that you might experience after using the medicine. For awareness, you must discuss it with your doctor.
Antihistamine and erectile dysfunction
According to the Harvard Health website, certain types of medications can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), and antihistamine drugs can be one among them. Antihistamine drugs can trigger sexual side effects, which include a decrease in sex drive or libido and difficulties with the erection function. Men using these medicines might experience difficulties in getting or sustaining their erections. Erectile dysfunction can possibly be a side effect of taking this medicine.
Not all antihistamine drugs contribute to sexual side effects. Only certain types of it can be linked to erectile dysfunction. As per some sources, types of antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Cimetidine (Tagamet), Ranitidine (Zantac), Nizatidine (Axid), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Promethazine (Phenergan), and a few others like these can lead to erection difficulties. Therefore, you must talk to your doctor about the sexual side effects of the antihistamine medicine prescribed by them.