What are antihistamine
and what are the medical uses for this type of drug?
Antihistamine shots are prescription medications that are used for the rapid
treatment of conditions such as:
- To induce sedation when injected into a patient
Antihistamine shots also are used to alleviate extra pyramidal symptoms
of antipsychotic medications.
Histamine is a chemical that causes many
signs and symptoms of allergy.
Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and attaches to
other cells that have receptors for histamine on their surfaces. Histamine
stimulates the cells to release chemicals that produce effects that we associate
with allergy. Antihistamines blocks histamine receptors and thus prevent
activation of cells with histamine receptors by histamine.
What are examples of
generic and brand names of antihistamine injections available in the US?
Examples of the brand and generic names for this type of medication include:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Restall,
- dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, Driminate)
The formulation of this drug is available by prescription only to treat a
patient with a specific condition. It is not
available over-the-counter (OTC). Other formulations of antihistamine drugs
are available over-the-counter that treat medical conditions such as:
Examples of OTC medicine available over-the-counter include:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- certirizine (Zyrtec)
- loratadine (Claritin)
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- desloratadine (Clarinex)
- loratadine ODT (Alavert,
Allergies can best be described as:
What are the side effects of antihistamine
The common side effects of this type of medication include:
- Drowsiness (sleepiness)
- Increased or decreased
- Abnormal heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Tiredness (fatigue)
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Which drugs interact with antihistamine
Antihistamine injections have additive effects if used with alcohol or other
central nervous system depressant medications such as:
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- diazepam (Valium)
- zolpidem (Ambien)
- zaleplon (Sonata)
- butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine (Fioricet)
- morphine (MSIR)
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- azelastine (Astelin)
Effects of antihistamines are prolonged if combined with monoamine oxidase
inhibitors (MAOIs) such as:
- phenelzine (Nardil)
- selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and
- tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- procarbazine (Matulane)
- rasagiline (Azilect)
- isocarboxazid (Marplan).
Antihistamine injections should be used with caution if the patient under
medical care and receiving treatment with an
What formulations of antihistamine
injections are available?
- Prescription antihistamine injections are available in injection form.
- Diphenhydramine, promethazine, and
dimenhydrinate are administered intramuscularly and intravenously.
- Hydroxyzine hydrochloride is
administered only intramuscularly.
- Antihistamine injections are not
recommended for administration via subcutaneous route.
Is it safe to have antihistamine
shots during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- FDA lists diphenhydramine and dimenhydrinate as Pregnancy Category B and
promethazine as Pregnancy Category C. Hydroxyzine does not have a Pregnancy
Category. These categories mean that the safe and effective use of any
antihistamine injection drug is not established in during pregnancy;
therefore, if a patient is pregnant, medical treatment with this drug should be used only if clearly needed.
- It is not known whether an injected antihistamine drug enters breast milk;
therefore, patients who are pregnant should seek medical advise and use caution before treatment with a prescription antihistamine injection
women who are breastfeeding.