Antihistamines should always be available if an individual is prone to allergic reactions as well as highly effective in treating colds. Just like with other medications, it is important that you are familiar with the minor side effects of antihistamines. For most individuals, these side effects can be bothersome but not harmful. Being familiar with the side effects of this medication is vital for the comfort of the individual as well as ensuring that their condition is in check.
Individuals who usually take antihistamines developed a self-awareness of their body in which they have a feeling of what feels right to them. In case the individual complains that he/she does not feel right while taking antihistamines, it is best to consult a doctor.
You have to read the drug information on the antihistamine being taken. The side effects are listed on the box, on the pamphlet included with the medication as well as on the website of the manufacturer. By being familiar with the side effects of a particular antihistamine, you can easily recognize them and prevent them from worsening.
Check if the common side effects are present
You have to check if the individual is experiencing the common side effects of the medication such as dry mouth or there are other causes. If the individual just recently ate very salty food, he/she will feel thirsty and experience dry mouth. If drinking water does not alleviate the dry mouth, it clearly indicates that it is a side effect of the medication.
Monitoring the rest pattern
Instruct the individual to monitor his/her resting pattern in order to recognize the side effects of antihistamines such as extreme fatigue. If the individual is taking first-generation antihistamine such as diphenhydramine and could not keep his/her eyes open, it is a side effect of the medication. Always remember that sleepiness is an important side effect that the individual must be aware of so that driving can be avoided as well as operating machineries at work during times when the medication has taken effect. Always remember that the sleepiness can cause vehicular accidents or injuries in the workplace especially those that involve heavy machinery and chemicals.
Watch out for serious side effects
You have to be on the lookout for the serious side effects such as abrupt weakness, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or mouth. If the individual experiences any of these effects, it is vital to discontinue the medication immediately and seek medical care.
Important considerations to bear in mind
It is better to be careful if antihistamines are taken by a family member. Once he/she does not feel right upon taking an antihistamine, call a doctor or seek emergency care as soon as possible. Even though the condition is not life-threatening, it is best to be on the safe side. If the individual is experiencing the chronic, debilitating side effects, he/she must stop taking the medications.