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How effective are oral antihistamines?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Most oral antihistamines must be taken every day to control symptoms. They are more effective than antihistamine nasal sprays for reducing itching, sneezing, and runny nose. They also reduce other allergy symptoms, such as itching of the palate, throat, ears, and eyes. Oral antihistamines may reduce nasal congestion somewhat, but probably less than an antihistamine nasal spray. The newer oral antihistamines make you less sleepy and are recommended over old generation drugs. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.