Sedating antihistamines and

Drowsiness is one of the major side effects of some antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (the antihistamine found in Nyquil).

Newer, low-sedating antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Claritin, are preferred over the older, sedating antihistamines such as Benadryl or Atarax.

" April 25, 2003 -- Timely research for the start of hay fever season: Despite their higher cost, the newer, so-called "second generation" of more expensive "nonsedating" prescription antihistamines may be no more effective at preventing fatigue and memory lapses than older over-the-counter formulas such as Benadryl.

So concludes a new study published in the current issue of Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in which researchers compared 18 previous trials investigating antihistamine-caused sedation levels in 1,500 people between ages 8 and 81.

Most of the studies reviewed used doses that were twice the recommended amount -- 50 milligrams -- of diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl and other first-generation "sedating" allergy medications.

"We're not saying that there's not a difference," says lead researcher Bruce G.

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Allergies occur when your immune system erroneously thinks an innocuous foreign substance, such as pollen or pet dander, is actually dangerous.

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