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Astemizole tablets

What are astemizole tablets?

ASTEMIZOLE (Hismanal®) was an antihistamine. Astemizole reduced allergy symptoms of hives (rash and itching), and hay fever (seasonal rhinitis).

NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.

What should my health care professional know before I take astemizole?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • asthma

  • high blood pressure or heart disease

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • other chronic illness

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take astemizole tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Take astemizole 1 to 2 hours before or at least 2 hours after eating; taking it with food can make it less effective. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take astemizole more often than directed. You may need to take it for several days as prescribed before your symptoms improve.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with astemizole?

Serious heart problems can occur if you take astemizole with:

  • bosentan

  • certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, and others)

  • certain medications used to treat HIV infection or AIDS

  • cisapride

  • grapefruit juice

  • medicines for fungal infections (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)

  • certain antidepressants (such as nefazodone, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline)

  • pimozide

  • ziprasidone

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking astemizole?

Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to improve in 2 or 3 days.

Call your prescriber or health care professional if you faint or notice an uneven heart beat.

Astemizole causes less drowsiness than most other antihistamines. Until you know if it makes you drowsy or dizzy, do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.

What side effects may I notice from taking astemizole?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • agitation, nervousness, excitability, not able to sleep (these are more likely in children)

  • blurred vision

  • fainting spells

  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations, or chest pain

  • seizures (convulsions)

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • drowsiness, dizziness

  • dry mouth

  • headache

  • increased appetite or weight gain

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture.

Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.