Topical antihistamine creams, present in many forms of over-the-counter anti-itch creams, should not be used for the treatment of hives or other skin allergies.
Placing topical antihistamines on the skin, such as Benadryl cream, can cause contact dermatitis due to the antihistamine.
Antihistamines are used in the treatment of allergic reactions, colds, hay fever, hives, and insect bites and stings.
Some antihistamines may also be helpful in reducing anxiety, inducing sleep, or at preventing or treating motion sickness.
Antihistamines can be further divided into those unlikely to cause drowsiness (non-sedating antihistamines) or those likely to cause drowsiness (sedating antihistamines).
Antihistamines are commonly used for the treatment of various allergic diseases, and can be taken in oral, nasal spray, eye drop, and injected forms.
Antihistamines for Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)Newer oral antihistamines, such as Xyzal (levocetirizine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Clarinex (desloratadine) and Clarinex (loratadine), are very effective therapies for the treatment of hay fever.
The term “antihistamine” generally is used to describe those medications that antagonize histamine activity at H1 receptors.
Currently the only FDA-approved histamine antagonist medications block the effects of histamine at H1 or H2 receptor sites.