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What is Fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine, commonly known as Allegra, is an anti-allergic drug used to treat various allergic conditions like runny nose (allergic rhinitis), hay fever (seasonal allergy), urticaria, or hives, and severe itching. It is an antihistamine that blocks the chemicals released by the body in response to severe allergic reactions. Unlike other anti-allergy medications, it doesn’t cause sedation or drowsiness. Hence, it is generally preferred over other anti-allergic drugs like Cetirizine and Diphenhydramine.

What are the uses of Fexofenadine?

Some uses and benefits of Fexofenadine are:

  • It is used to relieve allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching, redness during a common cold, pollen exposure, animal dander, etc.
  • It is used in severe allergic reactions like hives.
  • It is also used in insect bites to prevent allergy symptoms from arising, like stinging and itching.
  • Fexofenadine is combined with pseudoephedrine hydrochloride to form Allegra-D, which prevents congestion.
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What are the side effects of Fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine is generally a safe drug. However, there are specific side effects like:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Headache, nausea, and dry mouth.
  • Allergic reaction, if allergic to anti-allergic drugs and antihistamines.
  • Menstrual cramps.

Fexofenadine should be carefully used during pregnancy. If you need to take this drug, consult your gynecologist first.

Taking Fexofenadine with fruit juices reduces its absorption by the blood. So, take Fexofenadine only with water. Patients suffering from kidney issues should refrain from using this drug or, better, consult a physician before using it.

Fexofenadine shouldn’t be combined with medications like antacids, erythromycin, and ketoconazole, as it affects the absorption of this drug.

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FAQ's

1. Does Fexofenadine stop a runny nose?

Yes, you can use Fexofenadine or Allegra to relieve common cold symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion. Fexofenadine acts on the body by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance produced by the body when exposed to allergens. Histamine release causes symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing.

2. How much Fexofenadine can I take in a day?

For adults and children aged 12 years and above, the recommended dosage is 120 mg divided into two doses of 60 mg each. Sometimes, a one-time dose of 180 mg can also be taken. In children aged less than 12, the recommended daily dose is 30mg. To get a better recommendation for your condition, consult your physician.

3. Which is better: Fexofenadine or Cetirizine?

Both Fexofenadine and Cetirizine are anti-allergic and antihistamine drugs. But the unwanted effects of sedation or drowsiness are more common with Cetirizine as compared to Fexofenadine. People driving or working with machines or at tasks requiring high mental alertness should take Fexofenadine instead of Cetirizine.

4. Is Fexofenadine safe?

Fexofenadine is generally a safe drug to use, except if you have severe kidney issues. It causes urinary retention and takes time to eliminate from the body leading to drug build-up. Also, avoid this drug if you are pregnant, as it may harm your fetus. Remember to consult a doctor first to know if the benefits outweigh the risks. Don't combine Fexofenadine with antacids, as they may reduce its absorption.

5. Does Fexofenadine raise blood pressure?

No. Fexofenadine or Allegra is not known to increase blood pressure, even for patients with heart conditions. However, if Fexofenadine is combined with a decongestant like Allegra D, patients with heart conditions, like palpitations and high blood pressure, should not consume it. Consumption may increase blood pressure and heart rate and can interfere with regular heart medication.

6. How long does Fexofenadine stay in your system?

When taken orally, Fexofenadine begins to take effect in 2-hours and lasts for about 24-hours. The medicine stays for 11 to 15 hours in your system. If you have kidney disorders, exercise caution with Fexofenadine as the dosage needs to be carefully monitored. Consult your doctor to know the dosage and how long it will take to work effectively for you.

7. Is it okay to take Fexofenadine every day?

While Fexofenadine can be taken daily when your allergies are most prevalent (like during spring), you should not overuse this medication. Overuse may lead to common side effects, like sedation, nausea, headache, and dry mouth. Use this drug per your physician's recommendation to avoid its unwanted side effects.

8. Can Fexofenadine make you gain weight?

Yes, antihistamines work by blocking the histamine receptors in the brain's hypothalamus. In a 2010 study, scientists from Yale University found that when this happens, the brain doesn't receive the signal it usually receives when we are full. The body also burns calories less effectively. Together, these result in lowered metabolism, increased appetite, and weight gain. Cetirizine, Diphenhydramine (found in Benadryl), and Fexofenadine were some antihistamines that can have this effect. Therefore, do not overuse Fexofenadine.

9. How does Fexofenadine work in the body?

Fexofenadine is an antihistamine drug that works by blocking the H1 receptors that produce histamine. Histamine acts as a local natural defense causing leaking of fluids from blood vessels to tissues during allergic conditions, producing symptoms like runny nose and eyes, itching, redness, sneezing, etc. Fexofenadine molecules block the activity of these cells and provide relief from these symptoms.

10. Is Fexofenadine an anti-inflammatory drug?

No. While they may seem similar at first glance, Fexofenadine is an antihistamine that blocks the release of substances released during allergic reactions by blocking histamine, a chemical released during allergic reactions. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory drugs act on different body receptors to block symptoms of inflammation like redness, swelling, and pain.
For detailed information on Fexofenadine or any other medications, talk to a trained physician or consult our team of experts at Yashoda Hospitals.

 

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