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it may depend on the individual so you could try over the counter stuff if you like. The one you have been given is a non-sedating anti-histamine which is not the same as Piriton which is a sedating anti-histamine.
also be aware that different types could give different side effects due to slightly different site of action etc- I cannot take Piriton tablets because they give me hallucinations, not a very common side effect at all. I have had several other types without this problem (Loratidine and certerazine)
I take either fexofenidine or certirizine for allergies daily. I think fexofenidine is marginally better, but certirizine will do if I don't have the fexofenidine to hand. I also take piriton (chlorphenamine) on top of the other if required, but last time I did it made me terribly drowsy - did remove the allergy symptoms though! In general, I find that for me the effects of a daily antihistamine last 26 hours, so I need to remember to take them at the same time each day or the symptoms come back.
They are all different drugs so aren't directly comparable. What works for one won't work for another.
I transferred to fexofenadine when they withdrew Triludan as it was the nearest in effect for me. My son started on cetirizine aged 9 and has gone through that, followed by loratadine, then acrivastine. He's now been on prescribed fexofanadine for two years aged 17). The others just stopped working for him.
I would find one that works for now and stick to it. We found that when exactly to take them was important for us. If I'm staying with my mum who has dogs, I take extra steroid inhaler and start the antihistamines a week before I go. My son began his on 1st April last year and was only bothered by hayfever on one day before the end of the summer. Contrast that with the year before when the acrivastine had stopped working, the doctor didn't have any appts and I had to dump a snivelling, swollen-eyed wreck at the Receptionists desk and ask to be seen as he had exams and couldn't see! Get your attack in early by keeping a level of meds in your bloodstream.
Consultant dermatologists have told me that , if I need something stronger, it is OK to combine two different OTC anti-hustamines. It is also OK to take a double dose of one-a-days, if they don't last long enough. Not 2 at a time, but 12h apart instead of 24.
Also, that with regular use sometimes the AHs become less effective, so alternating them on monthly/6weekly sets held reduce this.
I've had conflicting advice about taking AHs early, before I need them. But IME it works better to already have AHs in your system before being exposed, than to start taking them when you're already suffering.
I don't find Piriton sedating at all, but if I take it for longer than a few days I get a very dry mouth and disturbed sleep. So, while I find it generally more effective than any of the other OTC AHs, I tend to reserve it for when I need something extra.