Acrivastine capsules (Benadryl Allergy Relief)

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Acrivastine relieves allergic symptoms.

Take one capsule as needed, up to three times daily.

Acrivastine is called a non-drowsy antihistamine; however, it can still cause drowsiness in a few people. Make sure your reactions are normal before you drive, or use tools or machines.

Type of medicineAntihistamine (non-drowsy)
Used forAllergies, such as hay fever and some allergic skin reactions, in adults and children over 12 years of age
Also calledBenadryl® Allergy Relief
Available asCapsules

Exposure to substances such as pollen, pet fur, house dust or insect bites can cause some people to produce an excess of a chemical called histamine. This causes allergic symptoms which can include skin rashes, sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny or blocked nose. Acrivastine is an antihistamine and blocks the effects of histamine, which helps to relieve these symptoms.

You can buy acrivastine capsules without a prescription at pharmacies and other retail units.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking acrivastine it is important that you discuss the treatment with a doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • You are over 65 years of age.
  • You have kidney problems.
  • You have porphyria (this is a rare inherited blood disorder).
  • You are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to another antihistamine, or to any other medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about acrivastine capsules and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • The dose recommended for adults and children aged over 12 years, is one capsule taken as needed up to three times daily. You can take the capsules before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, don't worry, just take the next dose when it is needed and then continue as before. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • Most people only need to take an antihistamine for a short while when they have symptoms. You should stop taking the capsules once your symptoms have eased.
  • Although acrivastine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine, it can still cause drowsiness in a few people. If this happens to you, do not drive or use tools or machines.
  • If you drink alcohol while you are on acrivastine, be aware of its effects on you and do not drink more than moderate amounts. Alcohol can increase the risk of side-effects from antihistamines.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the main side-effect associated with acrivastine, although this occurs rarely and is usually minor. It usually improves as the body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if it continues or becomes troublesome.

Acrivastine side-effectWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sleepyIf this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Benadryl® Allergy Relief; McNeil Products Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2011.
  • British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3484 (v23)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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