Fexofenadine

Fexofenadine tablets belong to a group of medicines called antihistamines. It can be used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), such as sneezing, itchy, runny or blocked nose and red, itchy and watery eyes.

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What is Fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine tablets are the generic form of the highly popular Branded medicine called Telfast.

It is taken to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergy to pollen (hay fever) and perennial allergy, such as allergy to animal fur, mould and house dust mites, which both cause allergic rhinitis with symptoms including nasal congestion, runny itchy nose, sneezing, tearing, itchy, red, and puffy eyes and problems sleeping.

Fexofenadine is also used to relieve symptoms of allergic skin conditions like urticaria (hives), which is an allergic reaction of the skin, usually to a medicine, food, a bee or wasp sting, or direct contact with an allergen like latex; or chronic urticaria, which is often due to autoimmune disease, and appears as red, raised, itchy lumps on the skin.

How does it work?

Fexofenadine is a newer generation antihistamine, it blocks the action of histamine. Histamine is a chemical released from special cells known as mast cells during an allergic reaction.

The release of histamine is in response to allergens like pollen and binds to the H1 receptor in small blood vessels causing them to become leaky, allowing white blood cells and blood proteins into the tissues; and this causes tissue swelling and irritation. Fexofenadine is a H1 receptor antagonist, and by blocking histamine it alleviates the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and urticaria caused histamine such as:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy eye
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Hives (red, raised, itchy lumps on the skin)

Fexofenadine tablets have a long-lasting effect and are non-sedative, (does not cause drowsiness), because the receptor binding action of fexofenadine is specific to peripheral H1 receptors in blood vessels rather than the H1 receptors in the central nervous system.

What doses of Fexofenadine are available?

Fexofenadine tablets are available in 2 doses:

-120mg tablets

-180mg tablets

How to use Fexofenadine

You should take your prescribed dose of Fexofenadine with a glass of water once daily with or without food, for as long as recommended by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.

How should Fexofenadine be stored?

You should keep your Fexofenadine tablets in their blister packs until use. Store at room temperature below 25°C and keep protected from direct sunlight.

Side effects & precautions

You should not use Fexofenadine tablets if you are:

  • Are allergic to fexofenadine or any ingredients in the formulation see the individual patient information leaflet
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding, without discussion with your doctor
  • Have taken an antacid containing aluminium and magnesium hydroxide within 2 hours
  • Are taking medications like the antifungal ketoconazole, the antibiotic erythromycin or cimetidine for peptic ulcers, which may increase the blood levels of fexofenadine

Fexofenadine tablets are generally well tolerated. The most commonly reported side effects when taking them to include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

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