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Additional administration of epinephrine, often in the form of an autoinjector (Epi-pen), is required by people with such hypersensitivities.

H-antihistamines can be administered topically (through the skin, nose, or eyes) or systemically, based on the nature of the allergic condition.

Antihistamines attach to the areas on cells that histamines attach to, thereby blocking the allergic response.

Antihistamines are most effective when taken before exposure to an allergen.

The most common adverse effect is sedation; this "side-effect" is utilized in many OTC sleeping-aid preparations.

Other common adverse effects in first-generation H-antihistamines include dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, euphoria, uncoordination, anxiety, increased appetite leading to weight gain, insomnia, tremor, nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and dry cough.

The authors of the American College of Chest Physicians Updates on Cough Guidelines (2006) recommend that, for cough associated with the common cold, first-generation antihistamine-decongestants are more effective than newer, non-sedating antihistamines.