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Dr Farooque says avoid 'old antihistamines' as they are 'sedating'

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The UK is no stranger to hay fever as one in five Britons suffer from the stubborn symptoms, according to Asthma UK. As pharmacies’ shelves can be overflowing with hay fever products at this time of year, it can be difficult to navigate the world of remedies. Speaking on BBC’s Morning Live, Dr Farooque explained what to watch out for.

Antihistamines are one of the most potent weapons when it comes to hay fever, designed to relieve symptoms of various allergies.

Dr Farooque offered “two tips when it comes to” this medicine. She said: “First, always look at the name of the drug, not necessarily the brand.

“The brand doesn’t matter so much, it’s the drug that matters.

“Doctors divide antihistamines into first-generation, which are older, and second-generation, glyburide or glibenclamide which are newer.”

Out of these two types, the one to “avoid” is the first-generation option also known as “older”.

Dr Farooque continued: “The first-generation antihistamine is one called chlorpheniramine and I advise patients to avoid these.

“The reasons for that [is] they are really old, they’ve been around for 70, 73 years, they work less well.

“You have to take them several times a day but, also, they can be sedating.”

However, that isn’t the only dangerous effect of the little pill.

The allergy expert warned: “And even if they are not sedating, they can slow your reaction times.

“So, in some studies, they have more impact on your driving than being drunk.”

MedlinePlus also warned against driving or operating machinery when following a chlorpheniramine treatment.

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