What is fexofenadine?

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Generic Name: Fexofenadine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is fexofenadine used for?

Fexofenadine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, sneezing, hives, and itching.

Fexofenadine  works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

How should I take fexofenadine?

If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all directions on the product package before taking fexofenadine. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed fexofenadine, take it as directed, usually 2 times daily (every 12 hours).

If you are using the liquid form of fexofenadine, shake the bottle well before each dose and measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Take the tablet/capsule or liquid form of this medication with or without food. If you are using the rapidly-dissolving tablet, take it on an empty stomach. Allow the rapidly-dissolving tablet to dissolve on the tongue and then swallow, with or without water. Do not remove the tablet from the blister pack until right before using.

If you need a liquid to take fexofenadine (such as when taking the tablets/capsules), then take fexofenadine with water. Do not take with fruit juices (such as apple, grapefruit, or orange) since they may decrease the absorption of this drug.

The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take fexofenadine more often than directed.

Do not take antacids containing aluminum and magnesium within 2 hours of taking this medication. These antacids can decrease the absorption of fexofenadine.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store fexofenadine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of fexofenadine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush fexofenadine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using fexofenadine?

Before taking fexofenadine,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fexofenadine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in fexofenadine tablets or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention either of the following: erythromycin (e.e.s., e-mycin, erythrocin) and ketoconazole (nizoral). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • If you are taking an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium (maalox, mylanta, others), take the antacid a few hours before or after fexofenadine.
  • 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.

Is it safe to take fexofenadine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Fexofenadine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking fexofenadine. Fexofenadine is pregnancy risk category  C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of fexofenadine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking fexofenadine and call your doctor if you have fever, chills, body aches, cough, or other flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include: nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach; menstrual cramps; drowsiness, tired feeling; headache; or muscle or back pain.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using fexofenadine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases:  Eliglustat; Lomitapide; Nilotinib; Simeprevir; Tocophersolan. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aluminum Carbonate, Basic
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Aluminum Phosphate
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
  • Magaldrate
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Magnesium Trisilicate
  • St John’s Wort

Does food or alcohol interact with fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

  • Apple Juice;
  • Grapefruit Juice;
  • Orange Juice;

What health conditions may interact with fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body .
  • Phenylketonuria—Use with caution. The oral disintegrating tablets contain phenylalanine.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this drug.

What is the dose of fexofenadine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

  • 60 mg orally twice a day or 180 mg once daily with water.

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

  • 60 mg orally twice a day or 180 mg once daily with water.

What is the dose of fexofenadine for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis

Oral tablets:

  • 6 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day with water;
  • 12 years or older: 60 mg orally twice a day or 180 mg once daily with water;

Oral tablet, disintegrating:

  • 6 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day;

Oral suspension:

  • Allergic rhinitis: 2 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day with water
  • Chronic idiopathic urticaria: 6 months to 1 year: 15 mg orally twice a day and for children from 2 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urticaria

Oral tablets:

  • 6 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day with water;
  • 12 years or older: 60 mg orally twice a day or 180 mg once daily with water;

Oral tablet, disintegrating:

  • 6 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day;

Oral suspension:

  • Allergic rhinitis: 2 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day with water
  • Chronic idiopathic urticaria: 6 months to 1 year: 15 mg orally twice a day and for children from 2 to 11 years: 30 mg orally twice a day.

How is Fexofenadine available?

Fexofenadine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Suspension, Oral, as hydrochloride: 30 mg/5 mL (120 mL).
  • Tablet, Oral, as hydrochloride: 30 mg, 60 mg, 180 mg.
  • Tablet Dispersible, Oral, as hydrochloride: 30 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Fexofenadine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017