Magazine article USA TODAY

Antihistamines May Impair Performance

Magazine article USA TODAY

Antihistamines May Impair Performance

Article excerpt

New medical guidelines for treatment of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose warn that older, but commonly used, antihistamines may have serious side effects. "There is very disturbing evidence that first-generation antihistamines can play a role in fatal automobile accidents and occupational injuries," explains Mark S. Dykewicz, associate professor of internal medicine and director of the training program in allergy and immunology at Saint Louis (Mo.) University School of Medicine. "In fact, data suggest that there is higher risk for occupational accidents from first-generation antihistamines than from use of narcotics and prescription sedatives. These older antihistamines also have been shown to impair children's learning and school performance."

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever), the most common form of rhinitis, affects 20-40,000,000 Americans annually, including 10-30% of adults and up to 40% of children. Symptoms often include nasal congestion, sneezing, itching of the nose, and postnasal drainage. The cost of rhinitis is estimated to exceed $10,-000,000,000 a year in the U.S., including direct expenses of medical care and indirect costs from decreased workplace productivity and lost work days.

First-generation antihistamines in many over-the-counter and some prescription allergy, sinus, and cold treatments can cause not only sedation, but impairment in thinking that may be dangerous. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.