Taking Allergy Medicine Every Day Will Do This To Your Body

Whether it's seasonal or food-related, allergies affect nearly 50 million people every year and are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States (via the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology). Many people rely on medications like antihistamines for management of the sneezes and sniffling these allergies bring on, but is it safe to take these medications daily?

According to experts, taking daily allergy medications is typically OK, when taken in recommended doses and considered with other medications. It is also important to note the difference between first generation and second generation allergy medications. First generation allergy medications include brands like Benadryl or Unisom, but can cause severe drowsiness. And on the other hand, second generation medications like Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec, are newer, have less side effects and are considered safer due to less interaction with other drugs (via SingleCare).

However, there are some side effects to be aware of in both types of allergy medications.

Side effects of taking daily allergy medications

First generation allergy medications typically aren't recommended for long-term use, as they have been reported to lose effectiveness over time, can cause weight gain, and cannot be mixed with alcohol due to the drowsiness symptom, experts tell SingleCare. Second generation medications don't lose their effectiveness when taken daily, but can cause tiredness, headache, cough or sore throat. You should also be aware of the products that combine nasal decongestants with antihistamines, as they may cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

So what happens if you suddenly stop taking antihistamines? The side effects should be mild and are rare, but you may experience a resurgence of the allergy symptoms your antihistamine was treating (via SingleCare).

Depending on the type of allergy you are diagnosed with, you may want to consider allergy shots instead of daily allergy medications. Allergy shots reduce hay fever symptoms in 85 percent of patients, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. It is recommended to seek the advice of your doctor or an allergist to find the treatment options that work best for your body and your specific allergy.