In addition, they can cause an increase in the severity of their other side effects: Sedative effects are increased if these medications are also mixed with other medicines, such as dextromethorphan (DMX) in cough syrups, or are taken with alcohol, opiates such as heroin, sedatives, or tranquilizers, such as Valium.
According a review by the National Institutes of Health, newer (second and third generation) antihistamines are non-sedating or minimally sedating and cause less drowsiness than the first generation drugs.
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This is what gives them a potential for abuse and addiction.
Search of the medical literature turned up no reports of addiction to the newer antihistamines which include: According to a 2005 review of second generation antihistamines in Drugs, cetirizine was the only one that caused sedation in about 10% of patients.
In a case of diphenhydramine addiction and detoxification, as reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2009, treatment involves the gradual tapering of dose of the drug.
A comprehensive review with 185 references for the analysis of commonly prescribed members of an important class of drugs, non-sedating antihistamines (NSAs), is presented.
The review covers most of the methods described for the analysis of cetirizine (CTZ), ebastine (EBS), fexofenadine (FXD), ketotifen (KET) and loratadine (LOR) in pure forms, in different pharmaceutical dosage forms and in biological fluids.