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These conditions may include: Antihistamines Available Over-the-Counter (OTC)Probably the most well-known oral antihistamine is Benadryl, which is an older, sedating antihistamine.

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The package insert for Xyzal confirms weight gain as a known side effect, but reports this as only occurring in 0.5% of people in studies who were taking this medication.Benadryl, and many other older antihistamines, such as Chlor-Trimeton (chlorphenirimine), are available OTC without a prescription.Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Benadryl.Placing topical antihistamines on the skin, such as Benadryl cream, can cause contact dermatitis due to the antihistamine.Other Uses for Antihistamines Antihistamines are frequently used for the treatment of other allergic conditions, although they may not be as effective as they are for hay fever and hives.In fact, in many states a person can be charged with driving-under-the-influence (DUI) if they operate a motor vehicle while taking medications such as Benadryl.

Newer, low-sedating antihistamines, such as Claritin and Zyrtec, tend to have fewer anticholinergic side effects.

Antihistamines are also available as nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies) and as eye drops for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies).

Antihistamines for Hives (Urticaria)Oral antihistamines are the main treatment for hives.

Newer, low-sedating antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Claritin, are preferred over the older, sedating antihistamines such as Benadryl or Atarax.

Topical antihistamine creams, present in many forms of over-the-counter anti-itch creams, should not be used for the treatment of hives or other skin allergies.

Antihistamines for Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)Newer oral antihistamines, such as Xyzal (levocetirizine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Clarinex (desloratadine) and Clarinex (loratadine), are very effective therapies for the treatment of hay fever.