Allergies affect all age groups; from young children to senior citizens. And, now at the start of the Spring-Summer allergy season, the focus is on medications that bring you some relief.
One of the medications prescribed for allergies is Diphenhydramine. It is the main ingredient in several brand name medicines, such as Advil, Sudafed, Motrin and Robotussin.
It relieves red, irritated, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; and runny nose caused by hay fever, allergies, or the common cold. It is in a class of medications called antihistamines and works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance that causes allergies.
Allergies: How To Use Diphenhydramine
Diphenhydramine in tablet or liquid is usually taken every 4 to 6 hours. It is a potent drug and should not be given to children under the age of 4 years old.
It often is combined with pain relievers, fever reducers, and decongestants.
Diphenhydramine is usually taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take diphenhydramine regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
You should be aware that this drug can cause serious side effects. Several are listed below:
- dry mouth, nose, and throat
- loss of appetite
- increased chest congestion
- muscle weakness
- excitement (especially in children)
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- vision problems
- difficulty urinating or painful urination
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).