Sedating antihistamines in children

The antihistamine cetirizine is safe and effective in children.Other non-sedating antihistamines that are used include acrivastine, bilastine, desloratadine (an active metabolite of loratadine), fexofenadine (an active metabolite of terfenadine), levocetirizine (an isomer of cetirizine), loratadine, and mizolastine.

2* In an allergy survey concerning Southeast Asian countries, it has been found out that the most common allergies in Filipino children is shellfish (5.23% of subjects), followed by fish allergy (2.29%), then peanuts and tree nuts (0.43%). Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the WHO and UNICEF till age two; it is less allergenic than formula milk and has been found to decrease the incidence of allergies in children.

Further, it’s advisable to give dairy after your baby has reached his first birthday; eggs after the second year; and shellfish, fish, and nuts after the third year.

Given the notoriety of some antihistamines in making people drowsy, it begs the question: Are antihistamines safe to use in all conditions - in the young especially?

In general, the safety of administering antihistamines – diphenhydramine included - depends on so many factors.

Antihistamines are used topically to treat allergic reactions in the eye (section 11.4.2) and in the nose (section 12.2.1).

Topical application of antihistamines to the skin is not recommended (section 13.3).

Certain antihistamines, specifically Periactin, have actually been used for the purpose of increasing appetite and weight gain in underweight children and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Learn all you’ve ever wanted to know about antihistamines.

Either a sedating or a non-sedating antihistamine may be used to treat an acute allergic reaction; for conditions with more persistent symptoms which require regular treatment, a non-sedating antihistamine should be used to minimise the risk of sedation and psychomotor impairment associated with sedating antihistamines.


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