BMJ Group Medical Reference
We don't know if these medicines can help. Antihistamines are often used to treat allergic conditions such as hay fever. You can buy some antihistamines at a pharmacy, but you'll need a prescription from your doctor for others. They come as tablets and syrups. Some examples are acrivastine (brand name Benadryl Allergy Relief), cetirizine (Zirtek), and chlorphenamine (Piriton).
Some antihistamines can make you sleepy, so you need to be careful how you use them, especially if you operate machinery or drive a car.
You have an allergic reaction when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is normally harmless. You can be allergic to particles in the air you are breathing, like pollen (which causes hay fever) or to chemicals on your skin, like detergents (which can cause a rash). People can also have an allergic reaction to drugs, like penicillin.
You get hay fever when your immune system reacts too strongly to pollen or mould. Your doctor may call it seasonal allergic rhinitis. The most common symptoms are sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and red, itchy eyes. You may also cough or wheeze.
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