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What Is Ebastine?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Ebastine is an antihistamine medication that can be effective for treating skin and nose irritation caused by allergic reactions. Brand names for this medication include Evastin® and Aleva®. A doctor may prescribe this medication for a patient if it appears likely to provide benefits. Dosages can vary depending on the patient's situation and level of tolerance for the drug, and it is available in a number of doses to meet the needs of different patients.

This drug is part of a family of second generation antihistamines. It is not possible for it to cross the blood-brain barrier, so it will only act on histamine receptors in the body. This eliminates drowsiness and confusion, two common side effects of older antihistamines. Patients on ebastine will not feel sedated and can take the drug safely while driving, operating heavy machinery, and performing complex tasks.

One application of this drug is in cases of allergic rhinitis, where the nose develops inflammation in response to allergies. Patients may experience itching, redness, and runny nose during allergy season. This drug will suppress the immune reaction causing the symptoms and keep the patient more comfortable. It can last for up to 12 hours before the levels of the drug start to drop and the patient will need another dose.

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Patients with allergic urticaria, where the skin develops welts known as hives, can also benefit from ebastine. The drug will block the histamine response that causes the redness, swelling, and itchiness. This may be the result of seasonal allergies or exposure to a specific allergen. Patients with a history of hives can keep an ebastine prescription so the drug will be available when they need it.

There are some contraindications for this drug. Patients with a history of certain heart problems or low potassium levels may be at risk if they take ebastine. The drug's efficacy and safety in young children is not known, and there have not been enough studies on use of the drug during pregnancy to determine whether it is safe for developing fetuses. A doctor may decide to prescribe the drug to a patient potentially at risk if the benefits will outweigh the unknowns, and patients should make sure to report side effects as early as possible so they can be taken off the drug if necessary. Doctors will report severe complications to a pharmaceutical database for the benefit of other doctors and patients, adding to the body of knowledge about the drug to increase the safety of prescribing practices.

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