Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Allegra

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Allegra [posted 8/14/98]
Question: Is Allegra safe to take while pregnant?

Answer: Studies in animals have shown no teratogenic effects. Studies have not been done in women, however, and there are no major horror studies emerging while the drug is fairly widely used. We commonly use benadryl and other OTC antihistamines. These have the negative side effect of sedation, but have been available and used for 40 years without obvious problems.

Question: Could you give me some information on the new drug Allegra? It is used for allergies? Does it effect the liver enzymes?

Answer: Allegra is a semi-selective antihistamine. That means that it does not penetrate the central nervous system as easily and causes less sedation than non-selective antihistamines. Allegra is a relatively new product and is a metabolic product of Seldane. However, since it is downstream in the metabolic pathway it does not seem to affect liver metabolism of other drugs (like Seldane did). Allegra is usually dosed twice a day. My experience with it has been generally positive. It is similar in effect to Claritin.

Long Term Side Effects
Question: My doctor prescribed Allegra for hives and facial swelling. I've been taking the medication for four months. Are there any long term side effects of Allegra?

Answer: Allegra is one of the newer anti-histamines which tend to be less sedating. It does not appear to have long term side effects; however, all the antihistamines can produce cardiac irregularities in susceptible patients.

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