This article is a transcript.
Are They Safe?
Anti-histamines block your body from releasing a molecule called histamine. So when you're exposed to something you're allergic to or something that irritates your nose, your body releases histamine. Histamine causes your blood vessels to get bigger, which causes more blood flow. This leads to nose being stuffy, and it also leads to be runny.
Common Side Effects
And the histamine also causes itching and irritation. When you take an anti-histamine, you're blocking that histamine from being released, and this improves the symptoms, but you're not really fixing the root cause. In general, it's safe to take anti-histamines on a routine basis, but sometimes patients feel like they don't work for them. Other patients feel like they cause drowsiness. And then interestingly in some patients actually caused them to have trouble sleeping. So in general, it is safe to take them on a routine basis. But if you want to fix the problem, you may want to consider something called immunotherapy.