Drugs Q & A

What is the Active Ingredient in Allegra?

An active ingredient is the component of a medication that’s responsible for its effects. In addition to providing a therapeutic benefit, an active ingredient can also cause adverse or unintended effects that could cause mild discomfort or worse. Knowing what the active ingredient is in a medicine is an important part of being medicinewise and being safe when you take your medicines.

The same active ingredient can come in different forms, such as in a tablet or as a liquid, and can also be sold as different brands – so it’s important to know how to recognize the active ingredient to avoid putting yourself at risk. Taking more than one medicine with the same active ingredient may mean that you are accidentally taking too much of that ingredient. It may then not work as well, you may be more likely to experience side effects, and it may even be harmful.

What is the Active Ingredient in Allegra?

The active pharmaceutical ingredient in Allegra is fexofenadine, an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (”hay fever”), including runny nose; sneezing; red, itchy, or watery eyes; or itching of the nose, throat, or roof of the mouth in adults and children 2 years of age and older. It is also used to relieve symptoms of urticaria (hives; red, itchy raised areas of the skin), including itching and rash in adults and children 6 months of age and older.  It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

Fexofenadine was originally synthesized in 1993 by Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Sepracor, which then sold the development rights to Hoechst Marion Roussel (now part of Sanofi-Aventis), and was later approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.

What side effects can the active ingredient in Allegra cause?

Allegra may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • pain in the arms, legs, or back
  • pain
  • pain during menstrual period
  • cough

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing

Fexofenadine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Allegra Safety Information

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (fexofenadine tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this medicine (fexofenadine tablets).
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this medicine (fexofenadine tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
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