Medications (Adult asthma)

13) Antihistamines

Antihistamines reduce the amount of histamine the body releases in response to an allergen. Histamine can cause irritation of the lining of the nose and tightening of the airways.

Drug name Device How its taken Side effects
Azelatine (Rhinolast®) Nasal spray antihistamine spray How often? Take as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Blow your nose and shake the bottle.
  • Tilt your head forward.
  • Hold the spray bottle upright.
  • Insert the tip of the spray bottle just inside one nostril. Close the other nostril with your other hand, and apply one or two sprays as prescribed.
  • Breathe in as you spray (but do not sniff hard as the spray then travels past the nose to the throat).
  • Do not angle the canister towards the middle or side of the nose, but straight up. With your head tilted forward, the spray should go to the back of your nose.
  • Repeat in the other nostril.
  • Some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy. If you experience this please do not drive or operate machinery.
  • Other side-effects include an upset stomach, headache and restlessness
  • If you experience symptoms that suggest an allergic reaction seek medical advice as soon as possible
  • Information on other side-effects can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet in the pack or through the Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC) website
  • Cetirzine (Zirtek®)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal®)
  • Loratadine (Clarityn®)
  • Desloratadine (Neoclarytin®)
  • Fexofenadine (Telfast®)
  • Hydroxyzine (Atarax®, Ucerax®)
  • Chlorphenamine (Piriton®)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan®, Avomine®)
  • Clemastine (Tavegil®)
Tablets / liquid antihistamine syrup and tablets

Please note:

These are the most commonly used nasal spray, tablets or liquid at the time of publication of this website. If you do not see your spray, tablets or liquid you can speak to your GP or pharmacist or check the patient information leaflet for your medication.