Submitted by: Marc Lindsay

Antihistamines: Tavist

Tavist is an over-the-counter antihistamine which is conveniently packaged in either tablet or syrup form. It can be taken with or without food, but should always be taken with water. The main action of this medication is that it inhibits the production of histamine in the body.


Histamine is a naturally produced biochemical which inflames the mucous membranes and causes swelling, itching and a runny nose. Tavist works to reduce the production of histamine in the body. Along with other allergy-reducing medicines, Tavist has been successful in helping people reduce the symptoms of allergies and colds. It also plays a great role in the medical industry because of its ability to relieve itchy skin from allergies, rashes and even snake bites.

The reason that it is considered to be more effective against itchiness, is because it uses the active ingredient, clemastine fumarate. This ingredient is an antihistamine which is proven to be most effective for diminishing rashes, itchy throats and skin. As an interesting note, Tavist’s active ingredient, clemastine, is also used by veterinarians for its effectiveness in treating animals suffering from allergies as well.

The side effects are typical of other antihistamines. Drowsiness, stomach pain and nausea are the most common of these. These symptoms were considered more severe for those over 60. Sensitivities for pregnant or nursing women have led the manufacturer to advise that this group contact their doctor before using the medication, although Tavist does have a category B rating which means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Those suffering from bronchial asthma, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular, glaucoma, prostrate, bladder, or stomach problems are also advised to consult their doctor before taking Tavist. Because of the drowsiness possibilities, users are also advised against using heavy machinery or automobiles while taking the medication.

Anyone taking MAOI inhibitors is urged not to use Tavist at all. Apparently, the drug interactions are considered severe, if not fatal. The following medications are also advised against using with Tavist: Xanex, Valium, Librium, Restoril, Halcion and any other drug which already has a side effect of drowsiness. One should not use Tavist unless more than 14 days have passed since any of these other drugs have been taken. Signs of a general allergic reaction to the medication include a swelling of the throat, eyes, face or tongue. If this should occur, users are advised to seek medical services immediately.

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