Dr. M.J. Bazos MD,
Antihistamines are medicines that help stop the
symptoms caused by allergies. Itchy eyes, sneezing and runny noses may be helped
by an antihistamine. Sometimes, itchy rashes (especially hives) may also be
helped by an antihistamine.
Why did my doctor give me a
prescription when I can buy it
Most antihistamines that you need a prescription
for are the non-sedating type. That means they won't make you sleepy. If you've
used an over-the-counter antihistamine, it probably made you sleepy.
Non-sedating medicines are better for children during school hours and people
who work with machinery or drive cars.
Can I take my prescription
antihistamine with other medicines?
You shouldn't take prescription antihistamines
and certain other prescription drugs--such as erythromycin, itraconazole (brand
name: Sporanox) or ketoconazole (brand name: Nizoral)--at the same time. When
your doctor gives you a prescription, always ask if it's safe to use with the
other medicines you're taking. Your pharmacist can tell you the medicines you
shouldn't take with a prescription antihistamine. If you aren't sure, ask the
pharmacist or your doctor before taking another medicine.
Can I share my prescription
antihistamines with friends who have
No. You should never share a prescription
medicine with another person. Your doctor has examined you and has picked a
medicine that is right for your problem. Some antihistamines can cause serious
side effects if they are given to people who are taking another medicine, or who
should not take antihistamines for another reason.