Fexofenadine-the myths and facts behind the drug

You're reading Fexofenadine-the myths and facts behind the drug, posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2011 at 2:28 am in Medicine, on BrainBloggers at the Stay Healthy blog. More after the jump.

Fexofenadine is a drug used to treat allergies such as hay fever or pollen allergy. Fexofenadine is marketed as Allegra and it is a successor and an improvement on its predecessor, terfenadine. The drug can administered to children from the age of 6, but younger need supervision.

Not many are aware of this fact, but Fexofenadine is marketed as Allegra. It is basically an antihistamine medicine which is used for treating allergic reactions or symptoms. It is a successor and at times, is also an alternative to terfenadine. The medicine is used to treat allergies which are usually seasonal.

Fexofenadine is used to treat seasonal allergies which have synonyms such as “pollen allergy” or “hay fever” which are the most common allergies in today’s world. An estimate of 35 million Americans suffer from “hay fever”. The symptoms of these seasonal allergies include watery eyes, runny nose and itchy throat. It is used to treat itching of the skin and other conditions which are prescribed by the doctor. The medication contains antihistamine which works against histamine in the body. The natural histamine is released from mast cells of the histamine storing cells and attaches itself to the other histamine-receptor cells. When this attachment occurs, the cells are then activated to release chemicals that produce the effects which are related to the allergy. The drug is only capable of being effective with second-generation antihistamine such as the loratidine, zelastine and cetirizine. The drug is generally used to treat the symptoms of hay fever in both adults and children who are of six years and older.

Allegra is also used to treat chronic hives. Chronic hives are also known as “chronic urticaria” which manifests itself through red, raised bumps (hives) and itching. To be diagnosed with chronic hives or “chronic urticaria” a person needs to experience an outbreak of hives and its consequent for atleast 6 weeks. The drug is used to reduce the hives and the itching in people.

Like every medicine, Fexofenadine may also have its own share of side-effects. Listed below are some of the symptoms of side effects one needs to take note of:

  • Cough, cold and Flu- There has been an increase in the number of patients who are coming down with the flu, after using Allegra. The symptoms are common in patients between the age group of 6-11.
  • Pain- Patients above the age of 12, may suffer from backpain and headaches. Additional symptoms such as dizziness and ear pain have also been reported by other Allegra users. While the side effects are harmless, they should be brought to the attention of the doctor as soon as possible.
  • Anxiety-The drug may cause a lot of anxiety related issues. May also include insomnia, nervous breakdown and nightmares
  • Nausea and diarrhea- Some not-so-pleasant experiences with allegra may also include irregular bowel movement, vomiting, fatigue, nausea and so on. These symptoms are common in patients between the age group of 6 month to 5 year olds.

To prevent the manifestation, of these side effects, it is best if some effective precautions are followed before taking in this drug. During a pregnancy term, Allegra should be taken under medical supervision. For children of or above 6 years may use Allegra, the dosage for younger children should be prescribed. It should be taken with a glass full of water, accompanied or not, with food.