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Is Your Allergy Medication Making You Fat?
After the winter foodfest comes the spring allergies. While you are working your butt off to get your beach body, you may be noticing that you aren’t losing weight as fast as you used to. Did you really eat that much over the holidays that your body can’t burn the fat anymore? As you ponder upon this, you get a whiff of pollen and so you are off to the nearest drugstore for your allergy medication.
If you’re taking one right now, did it ever occur to you that your allergy medication is keeping you from losing weight? If it didn’t, then you better start wondering.
Allergy and Obesity
Researchers from Yale University published a study in the August 2010 issue of the journal Obesity after they found that people who took antihistamines regularly were heavier than people who didn’t take them at all.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the years 2005 to 2006 in order to compare the body weight of 867 adults and the prescription antihistamines that they use, researchers found that the two most common drugs in the study were cetrizine, which is now sold over-the-counter as Zyrtec, and fexofenadine, which is also sold over-the-counter as Allegra. They also found that the effect was more pronounced in men.
Which Allergy Medications Cause Weight Gain?
While researchers from Yale University warned that their study was only observational and therefore could not demonstrate whether antihistamines actually caused the weight gain or if obesity prompts people to catch allergies, some allergy medications are alredady listed for causing weight gain as one of its side effects. Is your allergy medication included? Find out below.
Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. It works by blocking histamine, a natural substance that your body produces during an allergic reaction. Researchers from Yale University suggested that histamine has a secondary role in regulating your appetite.
Animal studies have shown that dosing mice with histamine reduces their food intake, while dosing them with antihistamines increases their appetites. Therefore, the authors noted that if you take a lot of antihistamines, that might cause you to eat more than you normally do.
2.Zyrtec (Cetirizine Hydrochloride)
One of the two most common drugs found in the study published by researchers from Yale University, cetirizine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions, such as weakness, drowsiness, and dryness in the mouth.
Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, M.D., a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist with a private practice in Gaithersburg, MD, says that some allergy medications are so sedating that they could cause you to be a couch potato. And Zyrtec is not an exception.
Brompheniramine relieves red, irritated, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose, which are usually cuased by allergies. Like cetirizine hydrochloride, brompheniramine may cause drowsiness, as well as dry mouth, nose, and throat.
4.Chlor-Trimeton (Chlorpheniramine Maleate)
Chlorpheniramine maleate is another antihistamine, but are not recommended safe or effective in children younger than six years. Like any other antihistamine, chlorpheniramine maleate may cause drowsiness, decreased coordination, and dry mouth, nose, and throat.
How to Keep Allergies From Ruining Your Summer Bikini Body
Don’t give up on your beach body dreams if you find that your allergy relief is keeping you from losing weight. Instead, consult with your doctor, drink more water, and follow these tips to working around the spring allergy season.
Go for newer antihistamines, as older allergy medications tend to be more sedating that some would make you hungry, according to Eghrari-Sabet. Such antihistamines are Benadryl and Chrlo-Trimeton, but they are now being replaced by newer drugs like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin.
Although Zyrtec and Allegra were the most common drugs found in the Yale study, Eghrari-Sabet says that she had not seen increased appetite as a common side effect in her patients.
If your doctor has prescribed you this medication or any of the above, remember that he or she has juged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. However, if you think your allergy medication is making you fat, then ask your doctor for other options.