Can you take antihistamines long term?
Ah, allergies. The one thing that unites us all in misery. We’ve all experienced the sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose at some point in our lives. Which is why antihistamines are a lifesaver for many allergy sufferers out there, myself included.
But what about taking them long term? Is it safe to be popping those pills day after day? Let’s dive into the topic and see what lies beneath the surface.
What are Antihistamines?
Antihistamines are medications that block histamine receptors in your body, which helps reduce allergic reactions such as itching, swelling or hives. They come in different forms from nasal sprays to tablets and can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor.
The short answer is yes – you can take antihistamines safely for a short period of time with no negative side effects (cue sighs of relief). This could last anywhere between a few days up to six weeks depending on individual circumstances – such as seasonal allergies or allergic reactions from food.
In fact, most people don’t experience any significant side effects when using these medications occasionally or even daily during peak allergy seasons (as long as they stick to recommended dosages).
Now let’s talk about using antihistamines for extended periods of time; more specifically decades (let’s call it “the fear years”) if required by chronic conditions like eczema and hay fever.
Although there haven’t been extensive studies since previous research focused on analyzing drug efficacy rather than their safety concerns i.e., not cool guys — some changes/repercussions have been noted down:
- Tolerance — occurs when one becomes accustomed/burning off medication due to repeated use leading towards lowered effectiveness.
- Drowsiness — sleepy and fatigue can take over if you’re not careful with long-term use.
- Dizziness — fainting or imbalance during movement may occur from changes in blood pressure.
- Weight gain — a few antihistamines have been observed to result on an increase in hunger and /or water preservation within the body causing weight gain.
Contrary to popular belief, long-term usage would not necessarily cause addiction/dependency issues like some prescription medication (hence why it’s available OTC).
It must be noted that while these symptoms do surface seldomly, most users don’t experience them/endure mild ones stated above; hence there’s no need to panic (fingers crossed).
Can I Use Antihistamines Long-Term?
(the answer is not just: “ABSOLUTELY DON’T DO IT”)
The decision to take any medication regularly should strictly hinge upon your doctor’s advice and guided by updated information regarding possible risks/benefits with their extensive knowledge of preexisting conditions – but oh who am I kidding, doesn’t everything written on the outside of the box summarize detailed research?
Although standard dosages are normally low yielding harmless results for both short- and long term use… your doctor deserves credit where credit is due because;
1) He knows what he’s talking/diagnosing about
2) His approval assures safe interaction with other prescriptions
To conclude, seek medical advice for appropriate dosage/risk considerations before going all haphazard without professional consultation (which sounds less fun than jumping off a plane without sky diving gear strapped-on) But hey we’re adults right? Safety first folks!
The Bottom Line
Antihistamines continue being used widely, and happily yet up until now analysis has portrayed minimal side effects under standard usage regulations.
However—long-term use does come at its risk which can be hindered by consulting apt heath care professionals for tailored health programs.
Hence your doc > box instructions any day of the week.