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Allegra is a relatively new nonsedating antihistamine used to treat allergies such as hay fever. It alleviates symptoms such as runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.

Allegra was actually developed from a metabolite of Seldane. It is supposed to provide the anti-allergy benefits without the heart rhythm disturbances that can make Seldane hazardous.

Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects of Allegra are uncommon, but in studies 2.5% of the volunteers on Allegra came down with a cold or the flu.

Other reactions they reported included indigestion, menstrual cramps, fatigue and, in a few people, drowsiness. Report any symptoms to the physician promptly.

Both erythromycin and Nizoral can change blood levels of Allegra, making them go higher and last longer. But because Allegra does not seem to affect the heart, no negative results have been noted.

As more information accumulates on this new medication, further interactions may be uncovered.

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure Allegra is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

People with kidney problems may not eliminate Allegra efficiently and may need a lower dose.

Taking the Medicine

Allegra is taken two times a day. The capsules should be kept at room temperature and away from moisture.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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