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Hismanal® (astemizole)

Hismanal (astemizole) is an antihistamine medication used to treat symptoms of allergies such as rash, hives, watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes and sneezing.

Why is Hismanal prescribed?

Hismanal is prescribed for long term use against hay fever and is indicated for the relief of all symptoms of allergic rhinitis (nasal hypersensitivity) such as nasal congestion (blocked nose), sneezing, rhinorrhoea (runny nose) and itchy eyes.

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What are the FDA approved uses for Hismanal?

Hismanal was approved by the FDA in 1988 for chronic allergy and hay fever sufferers.

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What are the side effects of Hismanal?

Side effects commonly associated with Hismanal include headache, increased appetite, stomach upset, nervousness, and dry mouth.

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Hismanal warnings and alerts

In 1999, Janssen Pharmaceutica, the maker of Hismanal, notified health care providers that they were voluntarily discontinuing the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of the drug. In 1998, the FDA first warned consumers and healthcare providers of new safety information regarding Hismanal due to the risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events, anaphylaxis, and serious drug interactions that were occurring with its use. In addition, Hismanal labeling was changed to stress avoiding the use of Hismanal in combination with certain other medications and for liver disorder patients to completely avoid its use. After a series of labeling changes and warnings, Hismanal was recalled on June 21, 1999.

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Hismanal drug contradictions

Hismanal is contraindicated in patients using monoamine oxidase [MAO] inhibitors (antidepressants). Further, a dangerous side effect involving irregular heartbeats could occur if you take Hismanal with any of the following medicines:

  • An antifungal drug including ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox);
  • An antibiotic including erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab), clarithromycin (Biaxin), or troleandomycin (TAO);
  • The malaria medicine quinine (Quinamm); or
  • The medicine nefazodone (Serzone).

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Hismanal FAQs

What is Astemizole?

Astemizole is an antihistamine that is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, itching and watering of the eyes, and other allergic symptoms. Astemizole is also used to treat hives (urticaria), and other allergic inflammatory conditions.

What are the symptoms of a Hismanal overdose?

Symptoms of a Hismanal overdose include excessive central-nervous system stimulation (eg. insomnia, nervousness, convulsions), or cardiovascular stimulation (eg. tachycardia, palpitations, arrhythmias). Other symptoms include hypertension, pallor, mydriasis, hyperglycaemia and urinary retention. In some individuals, there may be central nervous system depression with somnolence, stupor, or respiratory depression.

Are there other prescription antihistamine alternatives to Hismanal?

Consumers can now obtain three prescription antihistamines that are similar to Hismanal and pose a much lower risk for interactions. They are fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine (Claritin), and cetirizine (Zyrtec). Studies suggest that these three drugs work equally well at relieving allergy symptoms, although some people find that they respond better to one over another.

Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Hismanal?

Possibly. While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to inform physicians adequately regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Emotional distress

If you or a loved one has experienced any health problems while taking Hismanal, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Hismanal lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.

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