Itching can be caused by a number of factors, such as an allergic reaction or insect bite.
Itching is caused by a variety of catalysts, including allergic reactions, insect bites, stings, or exposure to an irritant. So, choosing an over-the-counter antihistamine for itching depends on the cause of the itchiness or rash. Typically, antihistamines are not recommended for people who don’t have allergies or itchiness caused by an allergic reaction. For those individuals whose itching is a result of hives, the medical term for hives, choosing the right antihistamine depends on body chemistry and response to treatment. Not all people respond the same to all antihistamines.
Over-the-counter antihistamines can be as effective as prescription antihistamines in treating itching caused by allergies.
Most over-the-counter antihistamines are equally effective in terms of the drugs used. In clinical studies, loratadine, for example, was as effective for pruritus as diphenhydramine, cetirizine, or fexofenadine when taken as an oral medication. The difference lies in how a person responds to various types of antihistamines. Older medications, such as diphenhydramine, are known to cause drowsiness in adults and hyperactivity in children. Newer medications, such as loratadine and fexofendadine, are less likely to cause drowsiness or hyperactivity, although each person reacts differently.
Clinical studies have shown that loratadine is an effective antihistamine for itching.
In addition, consumers can also choose topical antihistamines for itching. While they are not always as effective at relieving symptoms as oral medications, topical antihistamines can provide more immediate relief from itching. These remedies are often recommended for people who do not suffer from itching caused by allergies, but rather from insect bites or other temporary catalysts. These medications may include corticosteroids in addition to antihistamines. Users should exercise caution when choosing a topical antihistamine for itching, monitoring for any adverse reactions such as a rash or skin that is warm to the touch.
Ranitidine is often a good choice for itching because many other antihistamines cause severe drowsiness and can interfere with work.
Other forms of antihistamines for itching, such as eye drops, are available for specific symptoms. Medications of this nature are typically sold without a prescription, with similar efficacy to other forms of antihistamines. Likewise, prescription medications for allergies and hives are also available, but require an evaluation by a licensed medical professional. Doctors, pharmacy professionals, and other medical professionals can offer advice on choosing the best antihistamine, especially for individuals concerned about interactions with other medications.
Itching accompanied by other symptoms, such as a swollen tongue or throat, should be treated immediately by a doctor.
When choosing an antihistamine for itching, it may be necessary to try more than one medication to find what works for a given individual. It may be necessary to try several medications to find the right one to relieve your symptoms. As each person responds differently, one drug may not provide relief, while another may cause unwanted side effects. Side effects of some types of oral antihistamines for itching include upset stomach, loss of appetite, drowsiness, or inability to concentrate. Naturally, users should follow the dosage instructions for each drug tried and should never try multiple drugs simultaneously.