The antihistamine fexofenadine is used to treat chronic hives and seasonal allergies. By blocking the effects of histamine, this medication reduces the symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, and irritation of the throat and eyes. Fexofenadine comes in tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and oral suspension (liquid). Common side effects of this drug may include headache, back pain, or coughing.
What Is Fexofenadine?Fexofenadine (Allegra®) is a medication used to treat seasonal allergies and chronic hives. It is part of a class of medicines called antihistamines.
Fexofenadine was originally a prescription medication. However, in March 2011, fexofenadine became available over-the-counter (OTC).
Side Effects of FexofenadineAs with any medicine, side effects are possible with fexofenadine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. In most cases, if side effects occur, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Based on clinical studies, the most common side effects occurring in either adults or children are:
- Back pain
- Respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold or flu
- Middle ear infection (otitis media).
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking fexofenadine if you:
- Have kidney disease
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant (see Allegra and Pregnancy)
- Are breastfeeding
- Are age 65 or older
- Have any allergies, including allergies to fexofenadine.
Also, tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, antacids, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Finally, make sure to contact your healthcare provider or call an ambulance immediately if you experience any breathing problems or difficulty swallowing.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Fexofenadine for more information, including information on who should not take the drug.)