The Top Antihistamines That Won’t Cause Weight Gain


If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from allergies and take antihistamines regularly, you may have noticed unwanted weight gain that seems to come out of nowhere. This can be frustrating and disheartening, especially when the goal is to feel better, not worse. Fortunately, not all antihistamines contribute to weight gain, and it is possible to find effective allergy relief without packing on extra pounds.

Antihistamines and Weight Gain: Is There a Connection?

Antihistamines work by blocking histamine, a chemical that is produced by the immune system in response to an allergen. This can alleviate allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion. However, many antihistamines also have a secondary effect of increasing appetite and slowing down metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.

Several studies have investigated the relationship between antihistamines and weight gain, and the results are mixed. Some studies have found a link between antihistamine use and weight gain, while others have found no significant difference between those taking antihistamines and those receiving a placebo. There is evidence to suggest that first-generation antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) are more likely to cause weight gain than second-generation antihistamines like fexofenadine (Allegra) and loratadine (Claritin).

Top 5 Antihistamines That Do Not Cause Weight Gain

If you are looking for antihistamines that won’t cause weight gain, consider the following:

  1. Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  2. Loratadine (Claritin)
  3. Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  4. Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  5. Bepotastine (Bepreve)

These antihistamines have been found to be effective at relieving allergy symptoms without causing weight gain. However, it’s worth noting that individual responses to antihistamines can vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Non-sedating Antihistamines That Won’t Affect Your Waistline

Non-sedating antihistamines are a newer class of antihistamines that are less likely to cause drowsiness and other side effects than older, sedating antihistamines. The advantage of using non-sedating antihistamines is that they can be taken during the day without affecting alertness or productivity.

The most effective non-sedating antihistamines that don’t cause weight gain include:

  1. Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  2. Loratadine (Claritin)
  3. Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  4. Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  5. Azelastine (Astelin)

How Antihistamines Affect Your Weight and Which Ones to Choose

Antihistamines can lead to weight gain in several ways. One is by increasing appetite and causing cravings for high-calorie foods. Another is by slowing down metabolism, making it harder for the body to burn calories effectively. Additionally, some antihistamines can cause water retention, which can contribute to bloating and weight gain.

When choosing an antihistamine that is less likely to cause weight gain, consider factors such as age, health status, and the severity of your allergy symptoms. For example, older adults may be more susceptible to the sedative effects of some antihistamines and may benefit from a non-sedating alternative. Those with liver or kidney disease may need to avoid certain antihistamines or use them with caution. In general, second-generation antihistamines like fexofenadine, loratadine, and cetirizine are preferred over first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine, which are more likely to cause weight gain.

Weight Gain and Antihistamines: Myth or Reality?

There is a common myth that all antihistamines cause weight gain, but this is not true. While some antihistamines have been found to promote weight gain, not all do, and individual responses can vary. Factors such as age, health status, and the severity of allergy symptoms can influence whether antihistamines lead to weight gain.

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that some antihistamines, in fact, led to weight loss compared to a placebo. This suggests that weight gain is not an inevitable side effect of antihistamine use and that managing allergy symptoms does not necessarily lead to weight gain.

The Best Antihistamines for Allergy Relief Without the Extra Pounds

The antihistamines that provide the best allergy relief without causing weight gain are those that are less likely to cause sedation and that have a minimal effect on appetite and metabolism. These include:

  1. Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  2. Loratadine (Claritin)
  3. Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  4. Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  5. Azelastine (Astelin)

Choosing the best antihistamine for your allergy symptoms involves considering your overall health, age, and the types of allergies you experience. For example, those with seasonal allergies or hay fever may benefit from a nasal spray that contains an antihistamine instead of an oral medication. Those with chronic hives may need a stronger antihistamine or a combination of antihistamines to control their symptoms.

How to Manage Allergies and Maintain Your Weight with Antihistamines

Managing allergies while also maintaining a healthy weight involves a balanced approach that includes lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management. Some tips for managing allergies while avoiding weight gain include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
  • Staying active and engaging in regular exercise
  • Avoiding high-calorie, high-fat foods that can trigger weight gain
  • Managing stress through techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing
  • Consulting with a healthcare professional before starting a new antihistamine regimen

Maintaining a balanced approach to allergy management can help you avoid unwanted weight gain while also feeling better and healthier overall.


Weight gain associated with antihistamine use can be frustrating and discouraging, but it does not have to be an inevitable side effect of managing allergy symptoms. By choosing antihistamines that are less likely to cause weight gain, staying active and healthy, and managing stress, you can achieve allergy relief without packing on extra pounds. If you have concerns about your antihistamine use or are struggling to manage your allergy symptoms, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

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