Generic name: Fexofenadine

Why is this medication prescribed?

Fexofenadine is used to relieve hay fever and allergy symptoms, including runny nose; sneezing; and red, itchy, tearing eyes. Fexofenadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. Fexofenadine may cause less drowsiness than other antihistamines.

How should this medicine be used?

Fexofenadine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken once or twice a day with food or milk. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take fexofenadine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking fexofenadine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fexofenadine or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially cold or allergy medications, erythromycin (E-Mycin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking fexofenadine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking fexofenadine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from fexofenadine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • upset stomach

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
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