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Astemizole is an antihistamine that provides relief from symptoms of allergies such as rash, hives, watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes and sneezing. This drug has been withdrawn from the U.S. market due to safety or effectiveness problems.



Adverse reactions:

This medication may cause headache, increased appetite, stomach upset, nervousness, dry mouth. These effects should lessen as your body adjusts to the drug. If they persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor promptly if the following effects occur: difficulty urinating, ringing in the ears. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat. Astemizole does not usually cause drowsiness when used at recommended doses and under normal circumstances. However, be sure of the drug’s effects before engaging in activities that require alertness. Elderly persons may be more sensitive to the effects of astemizole and may require lower doses. Watch for dizziness, sedation, confusion, excitation or irritability. Notify your doctor if such symptoms occur. Children may be more sensitive to the effects of astemizole and may require lower doses. Watch for dizziness, sedation, confusion, excitation or irritability. Notify the MD if such symptoms occur. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take including sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, quinine, muscle relaxants, medication for depression (e.g., "SSRI" such as fluoxetine, or nefazodone and protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir). Tell your doctor if you have taken any MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine), within the last two weeks. Inform your doctor if you are taking erythromycin or related drugs (e.g., clarithromycin, troleandomycin) or azole antifungal drugs (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole), mibefradil, narcotic pain relievers, anti-seizure medicines, or zileuton. Report other drugs which affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation), such as: dofetilide, pimozide, quinidine, sotalol, procainamide, sparfloxacin, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Do not take this drug for several days before allergy testing as test results can be affected. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


Though occurring rarely, severe (sometimes fatal) heart problems have occurred in patients using astemizole. Do not exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor. Do not take this drug if you have liver problems or are also using azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole), macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), mibefradil, or quinine. If you faint, stop using this drug immediately and contact your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have pre-existing heart, kidney or liver disease, asthma or breathing problems, allergies or a history of drug dependence. Limit alcohol intake as it may aggravate drug side effects. This drug should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Because this medication appears in breast milk, consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.



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