Friday, February 16, 2024

Do Allergy Pills Make You Sleepy

Take Your Allergy Medication In The Evening

Histamine: The Stuff Allergies are Made of

Antihistamines are a common and effective way to manage seasonal allergies, and modern allergy medicines are less likely to cause drowsiness than older antihistamines. However, some people may still feel tired after taking an allergy pill, especially if they havent taken one in a while.

To help reduce drowsiness and feel more alert during the day, take your daily antihistamine in the evening rather than first thing in the morning.

Consistency is also key to reducing the drowsiness caused by antihistaminesthe longer you take a daily allergy medication, the more easily your body will be able to tolerate those side effects.

Not all antihistamines are intended for daily use, so talk with your doctor before starting or changing any allergy medications to make sure its a good fit for you.

In General Using A Dph Product To Help You Fall Asleep Occasionally Is Fine But It Shouldnt Become A Habit

As long as you dont mind the potential next-day drowsiness, then sporadic use of the recommended daily dose of these drugs typically wont have serious medical repercussions for a healthy adult, Dr. Rapoport says. However, if you feel the need to turn to a sleep aid every night, you should seek treatment to address the underlying cause of your insomnia.

While its normal to have short periods of time where you cant sleep well , regularly having trouble falling or staying asleep is a sign that something deeper is going on. If you need to take something more than twice a week and the problem has gone on for more than three months, then you need to see someone, Dr. Pelayo says.

A primary care doctor or sleep specialist can help you identify any underlying conditions causing your urge to reach for something in your medicine cabinet, such as anxiety. Theres a pretty good chance that if you talk to somebody who knows what theyre talking about, we can find out whats going on, Dr. Rapoport says. Treating that condition can in turn help relieve the insomnia.

A doctor can also help you figure out if there are habits you may not realize are disturbing your sleep, like drinking tea late in the day, and help you work on establishing good sleep hygiene, like sticking to a consistent bedtime.


What You Can Do

If your medicine makes you feel worn out, donât stop taking it. You can try other ways to fight the side effect and get an energy boost:

  • Get some exercise, like a quick walk or some stretches.
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Drink a little bit of caffeine, like coffee or tea.

If youâre taking an over-the-counter medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are ânon-drowsyâ versions of it you can use instead. Itâs important to ask to make sure it wonât affect any other medications youâre taking.

Your doctor can help you handle any fatigue you feel from prescription medications. They might:

  • Change your medication
  • Change your dose
  • Tell you to take your medicine at a different time, like in the evening or before bed
  • Prescribe a medication to help you feel alert and awake

Donât take any medications that are supposed to help you stay awake, unless your doctor says itâs OK.

Also Check: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec

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Find Out More About Your Medicine

The leaflet that comes in the packet with your medicine will have detailed information about it, including how to take it and what side effects you might get.

If you no longer have the leaflet that came with your medicine, you can search for an online version of it using our medicines guide.

You may also find information on individual antihistamines on these websites:

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How To Take Or Use It

What to do when medication makes you sleepy

You can take diphenhydramine tablets and liquid with or without food.

How to take diphenhydramine tablets

Always take your diphenhydramine tablets with a drink of water. Swallow them whole. Do not chew them.

How to take diphenhydramine liquid

Liquid medicines containing diphenhydramine come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure the right dose. If you do not have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not measure the right amount.

How to use diphenhydramine cream

With the cream, put a small amount onto the affected area and smooth it in gently. Do not use it on large areas of skin. Keep the cream away from your eyes, mouth and nose. Remember to wash your hands afterwards, unless you’re treating your hands.

Read Also: Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance

Who May Not Be Able To Take Cetirizine

Cetirizine is not suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to cetirizine or any other medicine
  • have an allergy to food additives
  • have an allergy to peanuts or soya some brands of cetirizine capsules contain soya
  • have kidney failure
  • have epilepsy or another health problem that puts you at risk of having seizures or fits
  • have a condition that means you have difficulty peeing
  • are due to have an allergy test taking cetirizine may affect the results, so you might need to stop taking it a few days before the test

What If I Take Or Use Too Much

Too much diphenhydramine can be dangerous.

If you’ve taken more than the usual dose you may:

  • feel very sleepy
  • feel your heart beating very fast

In serious cases you can become unconscious and may need emergency treatment in hospital.

Do not use diphenhydramine cream at the same time as other products containing diphenhydramine. This can lead to overdose.

Urgent advice: Contact 111 for advice if:

  • you take more than your prescribed dose of diphenhydramine

Go to or call

If you need to go to A& E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the diphenhydramine packet or leaflet inside it plus any remaining medicine with you.

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Allergies Can Worsen Sleep Apnea

Allergies can make certain sleeping conditions worse. Symptoms like inflammation and stuffy nose often cause you to breathe improperly, which can cause or worsen snoring and sleep apnea. When your airways are blocked or restricted, the lungs and even the heart struggle to get enough oxygen. The lack of air causes your body to wake itself up, interrupting your sleep sometimes hundreds of times in a given night. This explains the exhaustion that most people experience when suffering from sleep apnea, especially if allergies are making things worse.

Find Relief From Fatigue Caused By Allergies

Allergy Medications Explained – Can You Take More Than One?

Fatigue can be caused by allergies and this can be frustrating. But it doesnt have to be forever. Diagnosing and treating your underlying allergies is the best way to find relief from your symptoms, get better sleep, and wake up feeling rested. Being tired can negatively impact your quality of life in many ways, but an ENT expert can help you address your issues and get back to a life free from fatigue from allergies. Schedule an appointment to discuss your allergy symptoms with a specialist today.

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Whats The Difference Between First

Just like the name implies, the first generation antihistamine were the first type approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They began to be approved in the United States in the 1930s and are still prescribed today.

They work on histamine receptor in the brain and spinal cord along with other types of receptors. Most notable about this generation of antihistamines is that they cross the blood-brain barrier, which results in drowsiness.

Second-generation antihistamines were approved by the FDA and first came to market in the 1980s. The second-generation antihistamines do not cross the blood-brain barrier to the extent that first-generation do and therefore do not cause drowsiness at standard dosage levels. Second-generation antihistamines are considered to be safer than first generation antihistamines because they dont cause drowsiness and interact with fewer drugs.

Transitions Between Prescription And Otc

As a general rule, over-the-counter drugs have to be used primarily to treat a condition that does not require the direct supervision of a doctor and must be proven to be reasonably safe and well tolerated. OTC drugs are usually also required to have little or no abuse potential, although in some areas drugs such as codeine are available OTC .

Over time, often 3â6 years, drugs that prove themselves safe and appropriate as prescription medicines may be switched from prescription to OTC. An example of this is diphenhydramine , an anti-histamine which once required a prescription but now is available OTC nearly everywhere. More recent examples are cimetidine and loratadine in the United States, and ibuprofen in Australia.

It is somewhat unusual for an OTC drug to be withdrawn from the market as a result of safety concerns, rather than market forces, though it does happen occasionally. For example, phenylpropanolamine was removed from sale in the United States over concern regarding strokes in young women. A study has been done examining consumer’s perceptions about the risk of and access to nonprescription medication. The study concluded that a small percentage of consumers prefer having access to medication over potential risks of taking non-prescribed medication.Ranitidine was suspended in multiple markets due to concerns over the presence of the carcinogenN-nitrosodimethylamine .

Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Make You Short Of Breath

How To Take It

You can take cetirizine with or without food, but always take the tablets or capsules with a drink of water, milk or squash. Swallow them whole. Do not chew them.

Cetirizine liquid may be easier for children to take than tablets. The liquid medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to give the right dose. If you do not have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not measure out the right amount.

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

Do Spring Allergies Make You Tired? Enter To Win
  • What type of antihistamine would work best for me?
  • How do I proper take the prescribed antihistamine?
  • What side effects might occur with the recommended medication?
  • What antihistamine wont interfere with the current medications I am taking?
  • When, or for what conditions, does taking an antihistamine that would make me drowsy make sense?
  • Can I live my life normally while using this medication? Can I drive? Can I operate heavy machinery?
  • Can I take antihistamines if I am pregnant, planning to become pregnancy or am breastfeeding?
  • Can antihistamines be safely given to my child?
  • What are the consequences if I dont take an antihistamine to help with my allergies?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Histamine is on your side. The chemical does its best to regulate help your heart and lungs and protect your body from foreign allergens, among other roles. But it can be oversensitive, and it can overreact, and thats where antihistamines can help. If youre have allergies, stomach symptoms or any of the other conditions and symptoms mentioned in this article, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Your symptoms may be able to be treated.

Always check with your healthcare provider and your pharmacist if you have concerns about antihistamines, and always follow the directions on the labels!

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How Are Antihistamines Classified

Antihistamines are divided into two major subtypes. The first subtype is called H-1 receptor antagonists or H-1 blockers. This subtype of antihistamines is used to treat allergy symptoms. The second subtype is called H-2 receptor antagonists or H-2 blockers. They are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease , peptic ulcers, gastritis, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting. The naming structure tells doctors and scientists the cell type the location of the histamine receptor that the antihistamine medication blocks.

The H-1 blocker subtype is further broken down into two groups first-generation antihistamines and second-generation antihistamines.

The Immune Response Is Tough On Your Body

Allergies cause bodily inflammation, and when your immune system is inflamed, your body uses up a fair amount of energy and resources to make an immune response, says Kara Wada, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Plus, when youre having an allergic reaction and histamines are released, that can make you feel tired, notes Dr. Monteleone.

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Are There Other Things I Can Do If I Feel Drowsy During The Day

Hergert: Sure. I recommend practicing good sleep hygiene at night. That starts with a consistent sleep schedule, and you should avoid caffeinated drinks late in the day.

Also, if you take over-the-counter medications, try to avoid any that may contribute to drowsiness. And avoid alcohol while taking medication. It could make you even drowsier.

In addition to that, eat a healthy diet and make sure you get regular exercise but not too close to bedtime. A 30-minute walk is a good way to boost your energy. If you cant get outside, try walking around your house 2 or 3 times a day for 10 or 15 minutes each time. That can really help.

Related reading: Pet ownership might also help boost your energy. Here are 4 ways a dog can improve your health.

What Causes Allergies Anyway

How do allergy medications work?

An allergic reaction is a chain reaction that starts in your genes and is expressed by your immune system, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology .

When you have an allergy to something, like pollen or grass, your immune system views it as an invader . It then overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E , which travel to cells that release chemicals called histamines, Dr. Monteleone explains. Cue the stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

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Recommended Reading: What Allergy Medicine Is Safe During Pregnancy

Why Do Antihistamines Make You Drowsy

16 December 2013

Drowsiness is one of the major side effects of some antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine and doxylamine succinate . And because of their powerful sedating qualities, antihistamines are also the active ingredients found in numerous over-the-counter sleep aids.

But why do antihistamines make you sleepy?

The story begins with histamines, which are chemical compounds that play a couple of roles in the body, though theyre best known for their involvement in the bodys local immune responses.

When you get injured or your immune system detects a potentially dangerous foreign substance, certain white blood cells and tissue cells release histamines that seek out and attach to other cells that have a histamine receptor.

Here, the histamines induce an inflammatory response they dilate the blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the site of injury or invasion. They also make blood vessels more permeable, allowing proteins and white blood cells to seep into the damaged or infected tissue.

But there are side effects to this healing process. For example, when youre fighting a cold , histamines widen the blood vessels in your nasal cavity, causing nasal congestion.

Additionally, the increased fluid leakage from your blood vessels, combined with an increased mucous production also caused by histamines can result in a runny nose.

Why Do Some Antihistamines Make You Sleepy

Sedation is a prominent side effect of older antihistamines, what we call first-generation antihistamines. Examples include:

The first-generation antihistamines can make you drowsy because they cross the blood-brain barrier, an intricate system of cells that regulates what substances pass into the brain. In fact, these older antihistamines are often marketed as sleep aids. The first-generation antihistamines are also used in cold-and-flu formulations to provide a side benefit of drowsiness when youre feeling ill and need plenty of rest.

Drowsiness is something to be aware of with first-generation antihistamines. They may increase the risk of falls or fracture in people 65 years or older. According to the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, first-generation antihistamines are also linked to impaired driving as well as fatal car and flying accidents. These drugs can also cause dry mouth, constipation, and difficulty urinating.

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How To Prevent Allergy Fatigue

The best way to prevent allergy fatigue is to find an effective treatment option for your allergies. The first step in managing allergies and preventing symptoms like fatigue is to find out which specific allergens trigger your reactions. After this diagnosis, there are ways to minimize allergies and avoid fatigue. You can minimize allergy fatigue in several ways:

Treatment With Dr Shukla

Do Allergy Pills Make You Sleepy

Dr. Shukla of Brooklyn New York has been in practice for more than 15 years. He has provided the answers and treatments to many children suffering from asthma, allergies, sleep apnea. Here at the Asthma, Allergy and Sleep Center of New York, we provide you with a personalized, boutique approach to health care and pediatric pulmonology all under one roof. We emphasize prevention and use our advanced diagnostic technologies to give you and your child the best possible care. Whether you need to see a sleep doctor, need allergy treatment or need a pulmonologist, contact Dr. Shuklas New York offices today for an appointment.

Read Also: Could Allergies Cause Sore Throat

Giving Diphenhydramine To Children

For cough and cold symptoms, you can give diphenhydramine tablets and liquid to children over the age of 6. For allergy symptoms, you can give it to children over 12. Check with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure a product is suitable for your child.

You can also use diphenhydramine cream on children for:

Important: Warning for children

Do not give your child diphenhydramine to help them get to sleep. Diphenhydramine is only suitable for sleep problems in people aged 16 years and above.

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