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Bilastine tablets and liquid medicine


Bilastine relieves allergic symptoms.

Take one tablet daily. Take the tablet when your stomach is empty (so, one hour before a meal, or alternatively, two hours after eating a meal). Do NOT take the tablet with any food, or with grapefruit juice or any other fruit juices.

Bilastine 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 before using tools or machines.

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About bilastine tablets

Type of medicine

Antihistamine (non-drowsy)

Used for

Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and some allergic skin reactions

Also called


Available as

Tablets, melt-in-the-mouth (orodispersible) tablets, oral liquid medicine

Bilastine is an anti-allergy medicine. It stops the effects of a substance called histamine and this helps to relieve the symptoms of allergies, such as hay fever and urticaria.

Exposure to substances such as pollen, animal fur or house dust mite can cause your body to produce allergic symptoms. Cells in the lining of your nose and eyes release histamine when they come into contact with these substances. This leads to inflammation in your nose (rhinitis) and eyes (conjunctivitis), which produces symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes.

Urticaria is a condition where an itchy skin rash develops. The rash can be triggered by an allergy to a substance such as a soap or a detergent.

Before taking bilastine

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking bilastine it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • If you have epilepsy.

  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.

  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to another antihistamine, or to any other medicine.

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How to take bilastine

  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about bilastine, and will also provide you with a full list of side-effects which you could experience from taking it.

  • For adults and for children aged 12 years or over, the usual dose is one 20 mg tablet taken daily. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water.

  • Children aged 6 years to 11 years may be prescribed the 10 mg melt-in-the-mouth tablets. Whilst taking care not to touch the tablet, place it on the tongue and allow it to dissolve before swallowing. Alternatively the tablet can be dissolved in a small glass of water (not juice). In this case make sure all the liquid is swallowed to get the full dose.

  • Children aged 6 years to 11 years may be prescribed an oral liquid medicine. The dose is 4 ml (containing 10 mg) which should be measured using the dosing cup provided or an oral syringe.

  • You should take each dose of bilastine 'on an empty stomach'. This means you should take your doses about an hour before a meal, or alternatively wait until two hours afterwards. This is because your body absorbs less bilastine when taken with food, which means the medicine is less effective.

  • Do not drink fruit juice (grapefruit juice in particular) during the hour before you take your dose or for two hours afterwards. Like food, fruit juices can also make bilastine less effective.

  • If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, take it when you remember (making sure you take it when your stomach is empty). If you do not remember until the following day then leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due that day. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Many people only need to take an antihistamine when they have symptoms. Unless you are told otherwise, you should stop taking bilastine once your symptoms have eased.

  • Although bilastine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine, it can still cause drowsiness in a few people. If this happens to you, do not drive and do not use tools or machines.

  • If you drink alcohol while you are on bilastine, 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.

  • If you are having an operation, or any treatment or tests (particularly if it is to test for an allergy), make sure you say that you are taking an antihistamine.

  • If you buy any medicines 'over the counter', check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with an antihistamine. This is because a number of other medicines can increase the risk of side-effects.

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Can bilastine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the most common ones associated with bilastine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any continue or become troublesome.

Common bilastine side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Feeling sleepy

If this happens, do not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected


Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

How to store bilastine tablets

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all 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.

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.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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