Fexofenadine

Some say fexofenadine helps people with eczema. But what is it really?

Antihistamines are prescribed to help individuals who fall victim to hay fever, symptoms related to allergies, and urticaria.  Urticaria is a condition that causes hives on the body. For children and young adults that suffer from eczema, uticaria can happen when the body is affected by an allergic reaction like hay fever and asthma.
 
Fexofenadine (also known as Allegra, Fexidine, Telfast, Fastofen, Tilfur, Vifas, Telffexo, and Allerfexo) was manufactured after a popular prescribed antihistamine called terafenadine, which goes by brand names Triludan and Seldane. Terafenadine impacted the QT interval, however. The QT interval is the measurement of electrical cycle in the heart. With Triludan and Seldane, the medications caused the prolongation or lengthened interval, which resulted in fatal cardiac arrhythmias.
 
Considered as a third-generation antihistamine, fexofenadine acts as an antagonist to the H1 receptor. Fexofenadine does not affect the gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, and smooth muscle of the body. The medication works to block the production of H1 receptors that initiate the start of an allergic process.  In January 2011, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the sale of Fexofenadine to be sold as an over-the-counter product.

Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsy or sleepy feeling
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Nightmares

Dosage

  • Children 12 years to Adult: 60 mg twice daily or 180 mg once daily
  • Elderly: 60 mg daily
  • No information has been reported for children under the age of 12.

Precautions/Recommendations

  • Fruit juice reduces the absorption of Fexofenadine in the body. Drinking grapefruit juice will decrease the level of plasma concentration when taking Fexofenadine.
  • Taking St. John's Wort (herbal remedy used for depression or mood swings) with Fexofenadine is not recommended. This is due to increased absorption rate of St. John's Wort in the body.
  • Fexofenadine will not be absorbed effectively in the body when taken with antacids that are made with magnesium and aluminum. However, antacids made with calcium will not affect how Fexofenadine is absorbed in the body.
  • Antibiotics, such as Erythromycin and Ketoconazole, can elevate the plasma level when taken with Fexofenadine but do not affect the QT interval. The cause of this incidence is unknown but may be related to biliary and gastrointestinal secretions are affected by the absorption of Fexofenadine in the body.

Effectiveness

When taken orally, 1/3 of the medication is circulating through the body.  After 6 hours, Fexofenadine has reached the highest level of effectiveness. Fexofenadine has been effective for relief of these symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Uticaria
  • Body fatigue

Cons:  Fexofenadine has not been effective in reducing the itching that is related to eczema.


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