What is fexofenadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Fexofenadine is an oral, "second generation"
antihistamine that is used to treat the signs and symptoms of allergy and hives.
It is similar to the other second generation antihistamines loratadine
(Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) and azelastine (Astelin).
Histamine is a
chemical that is responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic
reactions, for example, swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy
eyes. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and then
attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine. The attachment of the
histamine to the receptors causes the cells to be "activated," releasing other
chemicals that produce the effects that we associate with allergy (for example,
sneezing). Fexofenadine blocks one type of receptor for histamine (the H1
receptor) and thus prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by
histamine. Unlike the first generation antihistamines, fexofenadine and other
second-generation antihistamines do not readily enter the brain from the blood.
Therefore, they cause less drowsiness and are called non-sedating
antihistamines. Fexofenadine was approved by the FDA in July 1995.
What brand names are available for fexofenadine?
Is fexofenadine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for fexofenadine?
No, yes (suspension)
What are the uses for fexofenadine?
What are the side effects of fexofenadine?
The most common side effects of fexofenadine are:
Other important side effects include:
Allergies can best be described as:
What is the dosage for fexofenadine?
Which drugs or supplements interact with fexofenadine?
Aluminum containing antacids (for example, Maalox)
reduced the absorption of fexofenadine when administered 15 minutes apart.
Therefore, aluminum containing antacids and fexofenadine should not be
administered together. Fruit juices (apple, orange, grapefruit) may reduce the
absorption of fexofenadine. Fexofenadine should only be administered with water.
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Is fexofenadine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Fexofenadine has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
Fexofenadine has not been adequately studied in women who are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about fexofenadine?
What preparations of fexofenadine are available?
Tablets: 30, 60 and 180 mg. Suspension: 30 mg/5 ml.
Children 2-11 years of age should be given 30 mg twice daily for seasonal
allergies or urticaria.
Children 6 months to 2 years old should receive 15 mg twice daily for
The suspension is used for children less than 6 years old.
How should I keep fexofenadine stored?
Tablets and suspension should be stored at room temperature
between 20 C – 25 C (68 F – 77 F).