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Home Pharmacy (cont.)

Allergies and Itch

Allergic reactions limited to the skin including itching and hives (urticaria) usually are not life-threatening. However, difficulty breathing, wheezing, hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing may be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock and emergency medical services should be activated (call 911 if available) if these symptoms develop.

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is an antihistamine that treats allergic reactions and itch. It is effective but a significant side effect in drowsiness. Individuals taking diphenhydramine should not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or drink alcohol. Nonsedating antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) and fexofenadine (Allegra).
  • Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom) is a nasal spray used to treat nasal allergies.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine


American Academy of Pediatrics. Use of Codeine-and Dextromethorphan-Containing cough Remedies in Children.

Centers for Disease Control. Cold and cough Medicines: Information for Parents.
<> Caring for a Child with a Viral Infection. Medications Center.

Smith SM, Schroeder K, Fahey T. Over-the-counter medications for acute cough in children and adults in ambulatory settings (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Regulation of Nonprescription Products.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2015

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