First Time User? Enroll now.
*Vaccine availability and appointments* | Visitor and mask policies | Additional COVID-19 resources.
Home > Health Library > Antihistamines
Antihistamine medicines block the action of the chemical histamine during an allergic reaction to an irritant (allergen). Allergic symptoms, such as sneezing and itching, are not as bad when an antihistamine is taken.
It's important to check with a doctor before giving antihistamines to a child.
Some antihistamines can be bought over-the-counter, and some are prescribed. They can be taken by mouth (oral) or applied directly to the skin (topical). Pills and capsules contain a specific dose of medicine. The dose in a cream or ointment depends on how much is applied at one time and is harder to control. Too much antihistamine absorbed through the skin can be toxic, especially to children. The use of cream or ointment antihistamines is not reliable and not recommended.
Current as of: October 7, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.