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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Allegra
Allegra [posted 8/14/98]
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.
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
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.