Allegra is a second-generation antihistamine which is much safer, works faster, and is less sedative than first-generation antihistamines. It is safe for children as young as six months old. However, as with all medications, you do have to be cautious of possible Allegra side effects, particularly in the elderly. Allegra is effective in treating the symptoms of hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies, but is also used to treat itchy skin and throat caused by chronic idiopathic urticaria, commonly called hives.
Allegra is very safe if taken according to your doctor's instructions. It is an effective treatment for many conditions when taken correctly, working directly to block the H1, or histamine, receptor. It comes in both liquid and tablet form, but only the liquid form is recommended for children under the age of 6. Anyone who is already pregnant or hoping to become so should speak with a doctor before taking Allegra.
What Is Allegra?
Allegra is the brand name of the medication fexofenadine hydrochloride. It does not cure hives or allergies, but it does treat them. It should be taken even if you are feeling well to prevent symptoms from manifesting. However, understand all warnings, interactions and signs of an allergic reaction before you take the medication.
There are several strengths of Allegra dosage available. Tablets come in strengths of 30, 60, and 180 milligrams. Fast, orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs) are available in 30 mg doses and should not be touched before swallowing, as the tablet may start to dissolve and reduce the oral dose. Pop the foil blister pack open directly into your mouth. You can also take an oral suspension which contains 30 mg of medication per 5 ml of liquid. The orally disintegrating tablets should be avoided by those with phenylketonuria as they contain 5.3 mg of phenylalanine.
Adults and children ages 12 and older should take 180 mg once daily or 60 mg twice daily for hives and seasonal allergies. For children two to 11 years of age, take 30 mg twice per day for hives or seasonal allergies. For children six months of age to two years old, take 15 mg, twice daily for hives. Doctors recommend Allegra's suspension form for children under age six.
What if I Forget a Dose?
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Consult with a pharmacist if you are close to your next scheduled dose. Do not double up on your medication because you forgot a dose, as this can increase your risk of side effects or an overdose. Keep this medication away from children and dispose of it so pets or small children cannot accidentally take it.
Tell your doctor before starting Allegra if you have a history of kidney disease or are actively fighting the disease. Stop taking Allegra two weeks before skin allergy tests as it may interfere with the results. Do not give Allegra to a child younger than six months old for either hives or allergies. Be cautious if you are elderly as you may be more sensitive to possible Allegra side effects.
If you are pregnant, hope to become so, or are nursing a baby, be sure to talk with a doctor before taking Allegra. There are no controlled studies of the effects of Allegra taken in human pregnancy, but rat studies show a decreased birth weight in the rat pups.
Certain nutritional, herbal, dietary, and other legal and illegal drugs and supplements interact with Allegra. Take Allegra with water rather than grapefruit, orange, or apple juice as these juices may decrease the effectiveness of this medication. Advise your doctor if you plan to consume alcohol while taking Allegra, as this may increase the risk of drowsiness or dizziness.
Talk to your doctor if you are taking Erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin), Ketoconazole (Nizoral) or antacids containing magnesium or aluminum (Maalox, Mylanta). Avoid taking magnesium supplements while on this medication, but magnesium from natural sources, such as a glass of milk, are okay.
Allegra Allergy Symptoms
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following Allegra side effects:
- Chest tightness
- Feeling of warmth, redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
- Swelling on anywhere on the face, throat, hands, legs, feet or sex organs
- Shortness of breath or difficult or labored breathing
These are signs of a serious allergic reaction to either Fexofenadine itself or an inactive ingredient in the drug.
There are several good Allegra side effects. The drug helps with symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and urticaria, also known as hives. It causes less drowsiness than first-generation antihistamines and stops the throat and the roof of the mouth from itching. It blocks the H1 histamine receptor and works quickly. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug in 1995.
We all react to medications differently. Your psychiatrist may prescribe Allegra to you due to its occasional mild sedative effect to reduce the severity and frequency of mild-to-moderate panic attacks, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety. This will most likely be the case if you also suffer from seasonal allergies or struggle with hives.
Negative Allegra side effects can be very common, common, less common, or rare. Here are some categories of negative side effects:
General side effects include headache, drowsiness, dizziness and nausea. Very common gastrointestinal side effects include vomiting. Common gastrointestinal side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. Very common nervous system side effects include headache, and common nervous system side effects include somnolence, dizziness, and drowsiness.
Other common Allegra side effects include pain in your extremities, fatigue, otitis media, and pyrexia. Common respiratory side effects include dyspnea, rhinorrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, and cough. Back pain is a commonly reported musculoskeletal side effect of taking Allegra, and dysmenorrhea is a common genitourinary Allegra side effect.
Psychiatric side effects include excessive dreaming, paroniria, sleep disorders, nightmares, nervousness, and insomnia. Cardiovascular side effects include tightness of the chest, tachycardia, and palpitations. Hypersensitivity side effects include systemic anaphylaxis, angioedema, and hypersensitivity reactions. Dermatologic side effects include flushing, pruritus and rash.
Other Side Effects
Other less common side effects include muscle pains or stiffness, muscle aching or cramping, joint pain, fever, earache, ear congestion, and difficulty moving. You may experience chills, back pain, nasal congestion, lethargy, body aches or pain, or loss of voice. Sometimes people experience swollen joints, viral infections such as cold and flu, ringing or buzzing in the ears, or redness or swelling in the ear.
Talk to your doctor if you experience pain or tenderness around the eyes or cheekbones, pain in your arms in legs, or an unusual feeling of weakness or tiredness. These can be signs of something serious. Allegra is sometimes used to treat anxiety, but if taken in too high of a dose it can lead to nervousness. Remember to follow all of your doctor's instructions before taking this medication, including dosage.
Report Allegra Side Effects
If you would like to report Allegra side effects to the FDA, call them at 1-800-FDA-1088. If you believe you or a loved one are experiencing an overdose, contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers immediately, 24 hours a day, at
Allegra is a very safe, effective, second-generation antihistamine designed to work faster and better and last longer than first-generation antihistamines such as Benadryl. Allegra is the brand name of the chemical fexofenadine and is available over the counter in both tablet and liquid suspension forms for the treatment of hives and seasonal allergies in both children and adults.
Although Allegra is an over-the-counter medication, it is important to follow all of your doctor's instructions for taking it. Do not take it with certain juices such as apple, orange, or grapefruit as these can decrease the effectiveness. Talk to your doctor before taking Allegra with certain medications including antacids with magnesium or aluminum. Human studies have not been conducted on the effects of taking Allegra while nursing, but advise your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Allegra.
Stop taking Allegra for two weeks if you plan on having a skin allergy test performed, as this medication can affect the results. Stop taking Allegra and call the poison control line at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing an overdose. There are operators standing by 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Report any Allegra side effects to 1-800-FDA-1088.
Stop taking Allegra and seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved one are experiencing serious side effects indicating a possible allergic reaction to the medication or one of its inactive ingredients. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, a warm, flushed feeling, chest tightness, hive-like rashes, and more.
While Allegra does have side effects, most of the serious ones are quite rare. With a little caution and the advice of your doctor, you can enjoy real allergy relief from Allegra.