Can Antihistamines Cause Weight Gain?

Weight Gain

Yes, some antihistamines can potentially cause weight gain as a side effect, although it’s not very common.

Certain antihistamines, particularly first-generation ones such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), and hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril), are more likely to cause weight gain compared to second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), and fexofenadine (Allegra).

The mechanism by which antihistamines can lead to weight gain is not entirely understood but may involve factors such as increased appetite, changes in metabolism, or alterations in energy expenditure. Additionally, some antihistamines have sedating effects that can lead to decreased physical activity, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

It’s essential to note that not everyone who takes antihistamines will experience weight gain, and the likelihood and severity of this side effect can vary depending on factors such as the specific antihistamine, dosage, duration of use, individual metabolism, and lifestyle factors.

If someone experiences significant weight gain while taking antihistamines, they should consult their healthcare provider for evaluation and guidance. Healthcare providers can help determine whether the weight gain is related to the medication or other factors and recommend appropriate management strategies, which may include adjusting the medication regimen, dietary changes, exercise, or other interventions.

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