9 doctors weighed in:

Why do most allergy medications make you tired?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Efren Rael
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Allergy medications

Many factors affect sleep.
1st generation antihistamines, e.g. benadryl, (diphenhydramine) doxepin, etc. get into the brain & can cause sleepiness. The sleep quality may not be the best, as sometimes, the muscles relax, causing obstruction in the upper airways, leading to snoring, retention of carbon dioxide, increased blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation, and more work on the heart.

In brief: Allergy medications

Many factors affect sleep.
1st generation antihistamines, e.g. benadryl, (diphenhydramine) doxepin, etc. get into the brain & can cause sleepiness. The sleep quality may not be the best, as sometimes, the muscles relax, causing obstruction in the upper airways, leading to snoring, retention of carbon dioxide, increased blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation, and more work on the heart.
Dr. Efren Rael
Dr. Efren Rael
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1 comment
Dr. Corey Clay
Note the second generation antihistamines (Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra) are much less sedating as they do not penetrate brain as well.
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Cross into brain

Older antihistamines cross the blood brain barrier so can cause nervous system side effects like fatigue or somnolence.
For this reason, the newer antihistamines were developed, that cause less, side effects. These are antihistamines like fexofenadine, Cetirizine and loratidine.

In brief: Cross into brain

Older antihistamines cross the blood brain barrier so can cause nervous system side effects like fatigue or somnolence.
For this reason, the newer antihistamines were developed, that cause less, side effects. These are antihistamines like fexofenadine, Cetirizine and loratidine.
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Dr. Stephen Kimura
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Dr. Lee Perry
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Side effect

This is a side effect of most anti-histamines.
It's due to the medicine's mechanism of action.

In brief: Side effect

This is a side effect of most anti-histamines.
It's due to the medicine's mechanism of action.
Dr. Lee Perry
Dr. Lee Perry
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