Most people recognize antihistamines as a type of allergy medication, though they have various uses. Antihistamines moderate the activity of histamine, a natural chemical that performs many functions throughout the body. Primarily, antihistamines improve different types of allergy symptoms. Medical experts classify antihistamines differently depending on how they function and which conditions they treat.
During an allergic reaction, histamine binds to receptors throughout the body, causing fluid to escape from capillaries into tissues and leading to the classic allergy symptoms. Histamine also regulates some gut functions, acts as a neurotransmitter, plays a role in the inflammatory response, and can mediate itching.
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