That study was sponsored by the company that manufactures Allegra.
Still, Cohen says what makes it important is that it had patients perform a technical skill that requires optimal alertness.
A sedative is anything that makes you sedate — peaceful, calm, tranquil.
Weiler and colleagues also found that subjective feelings of drowsiness did not correlate well with impairment, suggesting that patients receiving antihistamines may not be able to judge when they are impaired.
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"In some studies we reviewed, some people actually experienced more sedation with the newer, nonsedating formulas than with the older, sedating products.
The question, is it necessary to spend the extra money?
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" April 25, 2003 -- Timely research for the start of hay fever season: Despite their higher cost, the newer, so-called "second generation" of more expensive "nonsedating" prescription antihistamines may be no more effective at preventing fatigue and memory lapses than older over-the-counter formulas such as Benadryl.
And in many cases, over time the sedation became less of a problem, so they were able to take them twice a day," Cohen tells Web MD.
"Today, most people would lead to nonsedating medications." And perhaps with good reason: Some 35 states in the U. have laws related to driving while impaired -- not only by alcohol, but also from antihistamines, says Cohen. "Zyrtec is a relatively non-sedating antihistamine, but it has a warning in the Physician's Desk Reference [which gives detailed information on prescribing drugs] about operating machinery when taking it," he tells Web MD.
And the people who took Benadryl looked normal, but drove like the drunks," says Steven H.
Cohen, MD, an allergist in Milwaukee who serves as spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
"The first-generation antihistamines are more sedating, but the distinction isn't as black-and-white as the marketing of the newer products may lead you to believe.