5 reasons to avoid sedating antihistamines

Adverse effects include accidents and severe tissue injury

First-generation antihistamines should be avoided, according to clinical immunologists.


The main concerns are their sedative properties and interference with rapid eye movement sleep, say Dr Katrina Randall and Dr Carolyn Hawkins.

Other reasons to avoid sedating antihistamines include:

  • They adversely affect school performance.
  • They cause aviation and car accidents.
  • Promethazine is associated with serious behavioural and other adverse effects in children under two.
  • Their anticholinergic effects can be particularly